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Catch-up with PhilDev Scholar JC Rosette

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John Carlo Rosette or JC as many call him came from a small town in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija, an agricultural region known for producing the highest output of rice. He is the 2nd of three children raised by a single mother. Growing up, he understood the struggles of his mother raising all three of them on her own.

Like many of our scholars, he came from a simple family. Even at a young age, he has always been fascinated with Science and dreamt of working in a laboratory when he grows up. He eventually moved to Cabanatuan City to pursue his secondary education in a science-oriented highschool believing that he wanted to experience more of the world. Although the city was roughly an hour away from his hometown, he initially struggled with homesickness and felt inferior to his peers, being the small kid who came from a small town.

JC never imagined himself taking up Chemical Engineering. His grandfather was into politics and during campaign periods for elections, he would see local politicians going to their home, seeking his grandfather’s advice. At that point, he thought that taking up Law would be a more realistic profession for him.

It was in his 3rd year in highschool that he was given the opportunity to participate in a Science Quiz Bee in their school. He initially didn’t plan on taking the qualifying exams, having failed the previous years. But in an unexpected turn of events, he found himself taking not only taking the exam but getting the highest score. He then started to participate in various quiz bees representing their school. It was then he decided he wanted to pursue Chemistry in college. His thesis was about extracting proteins from popcorn kernels and patani (a type of legume) to aid in blood typing.

Eventually, he decided that he wanted to study something more application-based and large-scale, so he pursued Chemical Engineering.

How did you learn about PhilDev Scholarship?

I was already studying in UST during that time, and it was getting quite difficult for my mom to send me to school because of our finances. She told me that I might have to transfer back to a school in our province since it was more affordable. At that time, I understood her difficulty and I was okay with the idea. But then, I heard from our school’s public announcement system about the Phildev-Shell scholarships.

I decided to apply for the scholarship program. When I received the news from the office of student affairs that I was accepted to the program, I immediately called my mom. I can hear her crying on the other end of the line. That was one of the happiest moments in my life. I am really very thankful.

What is your most memorable experience with the PhilDev scholarship program?

I initially thought that PhilDev will only be providing financial support, but I am happy that they provide us with more than that. They also have other kinds of support like seminars. The PSES Team is also very hands on. They really make it a point to visit us every month.

I also learned a lot from the PhilDev-Shell Camps. For me, learning is not limited to the four corners of the classroom. I learned to interact with other people. Grades can only take you so far, but the connections built are also important. PhilDev provided us with all kinds of support to promote our holistic development

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

The value of giving back. If other students like me can study in college for free, then why not extend that opportunity to others too?  I learned that there is also fulfillment in giving back and seeing others succeed.

What are your plans after graduation?

When I was younger I thought I had everything figured out but as graduation drew closer, I was overwhelmed with the idea of the planning for my future. But I did reassure myself that I am well-equipped with my college education and the support PhilDev gave me.

I really want to go into the field of research. I am passionate about the environment ever since I was a child, so I want to use my knowledge to help protect the environment.

My thesis was about developing a material that captured carbon dioxide that was applied directly to plants. It’s an existing technology in Europe: Carbon Capture Sequestration. The carbon dioxide is then injected to the ground to become fossil fuel. This is something that I also learned from PhilDev—sustainability.

What are you hopes and dreams for the country?

I have big hopes for the Philippines, especially when I see my fellow scholars because I am reassured that the Philippines will have a very promising future. Every time I see patriotic TV ads and movies, I always get teary-eyed. I really want the Philippines to progress because I believe we can. We have the resources and manpower, we just need to integrate it all and the support of the government. I really believe that in the near future we can be a very successful country.

What is your message to the Filipino youth?

Follow your dreams, if you see yourself working in the S&T industry, there are a lot of ways to help support your studies just like what happened to me. The challenges you experience in your family is not a hindrance, use it as your strength. What you can accomplish, you can use to help empower others too.

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JC Graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2017. He is currently a Cadet Process Engineer at Petron Refinery.