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How Leni Robredo sent kids to Harvard, NYU, Ateneo


All three daughters of Vice President Leni Robredo have entered prestigious schools not only in the country but also in the US -- Harvard University and New York University among them.

On "The Mangahas Interviews", the vice president said that she managed to sustain her daughters' good education despite being a single mother with the help of scholarships.

“‘Yung kay Aika sa Harvard, sa panganay ‘yun, kay Aika full scholarship ‘yun. ‘Yung kay Jillian sa NYU ay scholarship din. Ang binayaran ko lang talagang tuition kay Trisha. Binayaran ko siya ng tuition sa medical school,” Robredo said.

Jessica Marie or Aika, Robredo’s oldest, was accepted into Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government for the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program.

Janine Patricia or Trisha graduated with a dual degree in Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.

Jillian Therese, the youngest, is currently studying at NYU.

Robredo said she paid the tuition for Trisha’s medical school, but her daughter was made a scholar by Ateneo in 2012 after the death of her husband, then Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

“In fact, nasa wake pa lang ng asawa ko, nakatanggap na kami ng sulat from the OAA (Office of Admission and Aid) ng Ateneo na sinasabi na we understand your predicament, we understand ‘yung sitwasyon sa pamilya kaya gagawin ka naming scholar,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said Jillian initially got a partial scholarship from NYU.

“Sabi ko sa kaniya, kahit may partial scholarship, hindi ko pa din kaya, makakaya ko lang— sabi ko ang kaya ko lang ‘yung tuition ng Ateneo,” she said.

“So ‘yung bata naghanap nang naghanap ng scholarships, ang daming sinulatan. In fact, nag-attend siya nang nag-attend. Merong programa ‘yung US Embassy dito na parang Study USA na kung saan tuturuan ka kung paano maghanap ng scholarships,” she added.

At present, Robredo said her youngest is working as a lab assistant at the NYU.

“Kahit allowance hindi na ako nagpapadala. ‘Yung sweldo niya ‘yun na ‘yung kaniyang allowance. Ang gastos ko lang kay Jillian ‘yung pamasahe niya… to and from New York,” she said.

“So ako naman mapalad ako, mapalad ako sa mga anak ko na ganon,” she added.

With two graduates, Robredo said her family was living better now.

“Ngayon, mas magaan for us dahil si Trisha ay tapos na. Si Aika has been earning for quite a while already. So si Trisha tapos na, magre-residency pa siya,” she said.

“Mag re-residency pa pero wala na ‘yung tuition. May sweldong konte. So mas ano naman, mas better off na kami ngayon than in the last eight years mula nung namatay yung asawa ko,” she added.

Jesse died in a plane crash off Masbate in August 2012.—Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF,GMA News