A college student broke down in tears when he realized no one showed up for his graduation. However, just as he walked on stage to receive his diploma, he was taken aback to see who else was taking the stage.
When no one showed up for Jeric Rivas’ college graduation, he thought he would have to accept his diploma alone. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
When Jeric Rivas arrived at his graduation at La Concepcion College in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan in the Philippines, he hoped that his family would finally accept his studies in criminology, the Mirror reports. However, as he scanned the crowd of attendees for his relatives, he realized that they had rejected him.
His family had made it clear that they didn’t support him by failing to show up to several award ceremonies in years past as well as skipping out on his high school graduation. As such, Rivas had always either refrained from going on stage to receive recognition or convinced his friends’ parents to stand in for his own. This time, it was different.
Rivas found a secluded area away from the festivities and broke down. He then took a moment to compose himself so he could finish the ceremony with dignity.
“Then I heard my name and here I am again, marching to the stage alone. While I was walking my tears were falling because no one attended my graduation.”
Rivas went on to explain that he had to work various odd jobs in order to provide for himself because his family refused to care for him since he had made it known that he would be pursuing higher education. After repeatedly being kicked out of relatives’ homes, he worked in a factory, as a janitor, and even in a fast-food restaurant to support himself.
As he prepared to walk across the stage to receive his diploma by himself, reality once again hit and Rivas was forced to hold back his tears.
“I felt a mixture of happiness and sadness inside again,” he wrote. “I looked to the right, looked to the left, at the back and in front — all I see is happy faces that are smiling, parents and my fellow graduates. I’m trying to hold back from crying but I just can’t.”
As Jeric Rivas walked on stage to receive his diploma alone, some of his professors stepped up to stand with him in place of his family, causing the graduate to beam with pride. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Although Rivas knew that none of his relatives would be there for him, he wasn’t alone. As he slowly stepped up to the dean, some of his professors walked up the stairs to stand with the graduate so he wouldn’t be alone.
“I hugged the professors who were on the stage one by one just to reduce the weight that I felt,” he said. “When I came down, I shook hands one-by-one with my fellow graduates, and it feels good that they were saying that they are proud of me one by one.”
Incredibly, while Rivas thanked his friends and teachers for believing in him, he refused to reject his family as they had done to him. Instead, he thanked them for being the driving force behind his success.
“I am the first in our family to graduate from college even though you didn’t support my studies,” he told his family. “But I was able to do it. I am now graduated. To my parents that, until now, still can’t accept me in their lives — this is me now. Thank you, because I’m a graduate because of this.”
Jeric Rivas went on to work as a professor at his old college, helping other students to accomplish their dreams. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Jeric Rivas’ hard work has since paid off. He went on to become a professor at his old college, side-by-side with the teachers who stood with him on stage. In his new position, he gets to help other students accomplish their dreams even if they have no family to support them through it.
Rivas’ story continues to inspire thousands on social media. He has proven that a little grit and perseverance go a long way and that sometimes support comes from the most unlikely of places.