No goal is ever met without a little sweat. Well, in the case of Daniel Cabrera, a Filipino boy from Mandaue City, it wasn’t little but quite a lot of sweat.

Daniel belongs to a poverty-stricken family. He was deprived of all necessities that one should have in life; home, quality education, even his father who died leaving his mother as the sole caretaker of her five children. Fate tested them a lot; their house was burned down and they had to live in the store where Daniel’s mother worked for an inadequate amount of pay. Forced by the cruel hands of poverty, Daniel was often seeing begging in the streets for the obvious purpose of gathering some money.

But then patience is always bitter; but its fruit is sweet. This boy, in spite of all the thorns he faced in his dry life, is oozing with determination and hopefulness. He didn’t give up on all of it, he continued. He didn’t give up when his father died. He didn’t become desperate when his house burned down and even now, he didn’t stop just because fate was testing him. Daniel studied on a sidewalk beside McDonald’s, benefiting from the light the restaurant gave.

And then…social media to the rescue! Daniel was captured studying at the place and his photo was uploaded on Facebook by a medical technology student. People from all around the world responded to the photo and it went viral. This world isn’t totally cruel yet; because of that photo, Daniel and his family received plenty of donations and help from many people. Before the photo, he only had a single pencil after one of his fellow students stole his second pencil from him. That viral photo went much farther than just likes and comments and shares; Daniel was granted a major educational scholarship from the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement & Support party that will be enough to help him through his way to college. Cherry on top; a scholarship from McDonald's Philippines - a basic educational scholarship that covers his school expenses, supplies and uniform up to grade 12.

Every single person that came to know about his story encouraged his persistence. Kenneth Yang, McDonald's Philippines president and CEO said: ''As Filipinos, we are proud to meet a boy so determined to succeed in life. It is with an open heart that we grant him a scholarship to help him achieve his goals." Through the scholarship, Daniel will get a monthly allowance as well. He vowed to study even harder, now that so many people have provided him help.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has taken this chain of good deeds a step farther. RHMC has started an initiative, Ronald McDonald Read to Learn, which will benefit more than 400 first graders of Daniel’s school; including his younger brother, Gabriel. Daniel’s mother is also grateful to all the people who stepped out to help. ''Our family can't be more thankful for all the support given to us," she said, according to the release. "As a mother, my main priority is really for my children to finish their studies."

A determined today leads to a successful tomorrow. Daniel aims to be a policeman. We all wish him best of luck. Indeed, he has given an inspirational message to the entire world.

Razzan Sehar
Angels International College  
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