The Grab driver who went viral for juggling deliveries and online classes has graduated magna cum laude, calling it the happiest highlight of his working student life.
Ax Valerio trended last September 2020 when a friend took a photo of him attending online classes at Adamson University as a communication student while he was wearing his Grab uniform.
Almost two years later, he was awarded with a silver medal for graduating magna cum laude. Valerio said he couldn't believe it when he found out about the good news via phone call.
"Sobrang saya po, nasa loob ako ng 7-11 nun, talagang nagtingingan sa akin mga tao kasi talagang ang lakas ng pgakakasabi ko 'wow talaga ba ma'am?' Napaiyak talaga ako at that time, tears of joy po," he told reportr in an interview in between orders.
Asked about his working student experience, he said "Di ako makapaniwala na nagawa ko 'yun kasi sobang hirap po, sobrang daming gabi na hindi ako nakakatulog dahil maraming kailangang ipasa sa school especially dahil graduating ako, may thesis pa po kami nun."
While studying, he said he was working two jobs: as Grab delivery rider in the morning and as virtual assistant at night. His earnings go to his family's daily needs and to help pay for his brother's tuition, he said.
"Kawawa naman nanay ko kung 'di ko siya tutulungan, kung kaya naman ng katawan ko e, nanay ko matanda na rin. Sacrifice lang."
Valerio said he would enter the corporate world with a job in marketing. He plans to save his earnings for law school or film school, he said.
Asked if he would give up his sideline as a Grab driver, he said no. "Para po kasi sa akin 'pag mas marami source of income, mas maganda po 'yun."
He advised working students not to give up and always remember their inspiration for juggling work and school.
"Sa dulo po ng journey, gaya ng college life, sobrang saya po na natapos. Pinakamasaya po para sa akin na estudyante dahil napagtagumpayan ko sila... Sa bandang dulo po, ngingitian na lang po nila ang paghihirap na naranasan nila."