His Family Raised Him to Give Back, And That’s Exactly How This Next Gen Scholar Is Living His Life

His love for his family is a huge part of what fuels him.

His Family Raised Him to Give Back, And That’s Exactly How This Next Gen Scholar Is Living His Life

Arvin Glenne Sun wants to graduate university, pass the board exams, and get a stable job. For probably most of his classmates, this trajectory is almost expected—taken for granted even—but Arvin has been through a lot early on in his life to know that the future is seldom as straightforward as that.

The 19-year-old Next Gen Scholar is an incoming second-year student at Iloilo Science and Technology University where he’s taking up Electrical Engineering. It’s a course that suits him well. “I've always been fascinated by how electricity works, and the way the bulb shines with the flip of a switch inspired me to learn more about it,” he says. “My curiosity grew stronger over time, and I began repairing electrical components as a hobby, which is when I realized I should major in electrical engineering.” 

The fact that electrical engineering is considered a high-demand profession today doesn’t hurt either. Although it hasn’t exactly been expected of him, Arvin thinks about his family’s future a lot. While both of his parents work, they’re also battling their own set of health conditions. His father is a genset operator at URC SURE PASSI, but he has diabetes and has had to stop taking medication because of financial constraints. His mother works as a government job order personnel, but she has hypertension and depression. She, too, has been forced to limit her professional psychiatric visits and anti-depressant meds for the same reason.

Then there’s Storm and Thunder, Arvin’s younger siblings who are seven and three respectively. Arvin is in charge of taking care of his two sisters, but he also does the household chores, while juggling his studies at the same time. He does all this while thinking about how to earn and save enough money for their college tuition. All this might seem like a lot to digest, but Arvin never complains and is adamant that he will never complain because he’s happy to do all these things for his family.

In his own way, Arvin has already been helping with the household expenses. He buys items online and sells them to friends and relatives. From his scholarship allowance, he makes sure to set some aside for his mother’s daily meds as he knows she tends not to buy them, preferring to sacrifice her own needs for the family’s. Thunder has also had nine hospitalizations and has to go to bi-monthly visits to the pediatrician due a medical condition.

It’s in Arvin’s nature to help, whether it’s shouldering the repair costs of his old mobile phone so his cousin can continue studying through the ALS platform or giving a classmate a WiFi modem so they can keep up with online classes. If he seems extraordinarily selfless, it’s only because he learned from the best. His mother is a community leader for Gawad Kalinga where Arvin is also an active volunteer. His father is a barangay councilor. Both have instilled in him the importance of giving back to others.

 “My parents also supported three children, sent them to school, and treated them as their own for seven years,” says Arvin. “This has taught me not just to be grateful but also to value people and relationships.”

This much is certainly evident in the way he looks at the world. Earlier this year, Arvin suffered a vehicular accident when a truck sideswiped him. It was a traumatic experience, one that put him in a state of depression for a time, but thanks to his loved ones, he’s overcome this as well.

Arvin is very close to his family and considers his parents to be the best listeners. He is also grateful for his support system. “I am very lucky to have friends who are always there to lend me a hand whenever I am having trouble conquering my endeavors,” he says, mentioning that he also has a special someone in his life. “She motivates me to continue on striving and never give up because we both believe these challenges are only part of God’s process to make me stronger and mold me to become more mature in life.”

When Arvin was awarded a Next Gen Scholarship, a huge load was taken off his shoulders because it meant that he could pursue his goals to become an electrical engineer with greater certainty. But he also sees it as a tremendous honor and a responsibility.

“It means a lot to me that I was chosen from among all GBF Next Gen applicants,” he says. “Being awarded the scholarship means more than just getting money because it also means that I am seen as having the potential to establish and help the future of our society.”