Making a Mark in Life

News   •   May 12, 2014 02:03 GMT

Written by Laksmi Cahyady

Find out how John Mark, an alumni from Pilot 1, gets a new lease on a better life after training at BagoSphere. 

John Mark Rico, 25, is the youngest of six siblings. His father is a part-time government employee doing odd carpentry jobs; his mother passed away when he was 3.

John studied in the local public elementary and high schools in the rural city of Bago in the Visayas. He was an active and aspiring student who enjoyed studying and has big dreams on continuing his education in college. However, common to youths in his area, he didn’t have the means to go to college or even a vocational school.

He started working as a gasoline assistant for five months in Cebu City and earned $80 per month. Then he became a cook at a fast food restaurant and had an income of $106/month for five months. His last blue collar job was that of a bagger at a supermarket for another five months with a salary of $122/month.

For over a year, John has been the breadwinner of his family with his meager income. When he learned about BagoSphere providing call center training to qualified high school graduates using a study now-pay later scheme, he grabbed the opportunity. He wanted to earn more, provide for his family and send his siblings to school.

BagoSphere sharpened his English communication skills, taught him I.T. call center skills and  life skills such as goal setting, stress management, and basic financial management skills.

John persevered during training, staying beyond training hours to clarify his doubts, tirelessly practicing his IT Skills and practicing ‘short I’, ‘long a’, ‘th’, ‘short e’ and ‘long u’ at home. At the end of the training program, John’s hard work paid off and he became one of the first graduates to land a job as a Customer Service Representative at Panasiatic Solutions, a local BPO earning US$240/month.

John Mark also continued to persevere even when he was employed. He was promoted three times and is now a Quality Assurance Specialist in the same company. He is now bringing home USS$300 per month. Since working at a call center, John Mark was able to send his brother to college. He is also currently saving up to fulfil his dream of pursuing a degree in Accountancy at a La Salle University.


Laksmi Cahyady has a passion in Social Innovation Projects and has participated in many Overseas Community Involvement Programmes around South East Asia. A current third year student of Diploma in Business and Social Enterprise in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, Laksmi is interested to explore further in the social entrepreneurship field. She feels strongly for the cause of global poverty and believe that children and youths are the catalyst of change in the society.