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This teacher is a ‘hero’

People Magazine featured Filipino American Math teacher Oliver Sicat in its June 12 “Heroes Among Us” section. Only the fourth Filipino to make it to this wide-read American magazine, what’s so special about this teacher?

For one, he developed an innovative after-school program called EMAGINE that’s been so successful it has become the buzz among educators around the US. All 20 inner-city freshmen high school students that teacher Oliver started tutoring four years ago have now been accepted to various colleges and universities. He helped them land paid internships and toured potential colleges with them with funds coming from his own pocket. “They don’t hear positive messages every day,” says Sicat, who takes no salary for Emagine. “They needed to have someone teach that to them.”

For another, he ran the 110th Boston Marathon last April to raise funds for laptop computers for the graduating students. Believing that by building relationships with students and holding them to high standards helps schools succeed, Sicat commented on why he ran. “These students believed in Emagine’s mission for four years, and their hard work has paid off. I wanted to give these graduates a gift that will help them succeed in college and congratulate them for dedicating themselves to Emagine.” The students were so inspired by his commitment to them that at the marathon they started jogging along their teacher, chanting his name and waving posters with “Oliver, we believe in you’ at the 20th mile when Sicat’s knees started buckling.

To these students, Oliver Sicat is their hero. To us, he is inspiration that giving our lives for others is cause worth living for.

To know more about Emagine, and give to its causes, click here. FilipinaSoul


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