Dr. Rusty Balderian has been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer with the title of “Doc Shares Blessings with Leyte Youth” published on November 8, 2008.
This is a story of a young man from a family which owned a sari sari store in the town of Tabontabon, Leyte who practically supported himself as a working student to become an optometrist and a physician. He went to the United States and run several successful businesses.
In 2003 he went back to his hometown and opened a school for nursing. Out of the initial enrollment of 153 only 60 graduated due to the requirement to maintain an average grade of 2 with no grade in any subject lower than 2.5. Out
of the 60 graduates only 57 took the nursing licensure examination and out of the 57 who took the nursing licensure examination 52 passed making his school the highest in the number of graduates passing the examination in the region and the ninth in the whole country.
At present there are 648 students and all are 100% scholars with free use of the dormitory. This is what makes the school unique. Parents are required to work in the school for 8 hours a day. The other requirement is for graduates to pass the Philippine board examination and the NFLEX and work in the U.S. When they start working they are required to send $1000.00 a month to their parents. This amount, Dr. Balderian believes, will be spent in the community by building better homes which in turn will provide jobs for local people and multiplier effect on the local economy of the town.
What makes Dr. Balderian so exemplary?
1. His own passion to secure education and be successful in business
2. His desire to help his community by sharing his success and offering scholarship to the youth of his town
3. His vision, creativeness and innovativeness in creating a unique school that will improve the economy of his town and help the poor while encouraging the youth to seek higher education that will qualify them to work abroad.
4. His superb administrative ability to manage a school and run a town as mayor with passion for progress and help his town as the driving force that can only end up in success.
5. His ambitiousness and courage to start something that has never been done before (school of nursing offering full scholarship to each student)
6. Despite his successful business in the U.S.A. he still went back to the homeland to start helping his town and its people.
This is why I am anxious to share this information that he may serve as a model and inspiration for all of us. We need more people like him.
By: Bart Saucelo