The unica hija of an OFW and a businessman, Michaela "Ella" Mendiola was among the 850 graduates of STI Senior High School’s pioneer batch from 26 STI campuses nationwide. While she grew up surrounded by people in the food industry (her mother works as a cook in Dubai while her father focuses on their catering business,) Ella however found her passion in the field of Information Technology (IT).
A high school graduate, she chose to pursue Senior High School to deepen her knowledge and expand her experiences while her batchmates went straight to college. After completing the two years of Senior High, she marched to her diploma as her school’s Class Valedictorian.
Ella had her fair share of experiences from different schools before she discovered the opportunities that come with enrolling into the Senior High School (SHS) program of STI College – Ortigas-Cainta, taking up IT in Mobile App and Web Development under the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track.
Aside from the certifications that qualifies her for work in other countries, the STI SHS training gives her an edge in the workplace, especially in IT. It was the deciding factor for the young girl whose plans include going abroad for her family and career. Now employed as a Technical Support Representative, Michaela credits STI as the place that trained her and her classmates with the right discipline and attitude that she still brings with her to the workplace.
"Looking back, I remember how our teachers encouraged us to be resourceful and seek out more knowledge beyond the classroom. They always remind us not to depend on them to 'spoonfeed' all information and pointers, but to find them elsewhere whether from books, seminars, or simply through experiences. The school didn’t just teach us to give the right answers to questions, but also how to get the right answers."
With her responsible attitude, Ella joined the first graduation ceremony for STI Senior High School on April 28, 2016 at STI Academic Center Global City as the Class Valedictorian for her school. To this day, coming up onstage to deliver the Valedictorian speech and accepting the Department of Education’s Challenge for Senior High School graduates was one of her most memorable experiences in STI.
Speaking from her experiences, she advises the current SHS students of STI to enjoy the ride. “Appreciate that you are learning new things everyday as early as now for the real world — it is a special opportunity. Senior High School brings many benefits to the youth, not only in our country, but to our self-development. We’re not only given a choice to work abroad or to further our studies, but we become at par with global standards of education. And that is a big step towards development for our future and our country’s future.”
Ella works as a Technical Support Representative at SPI Global in Ortigas, Pasig City where she is now armed and confident with the skills from Senior High. Her education paved ways — opening more opportunities for her in preparation for real life engagement. Now, she is working on saving enough money to become independent and support her future plans to continue her studies in BS Information Technology, which she believed will give her better career opportunities and help her parents.