Hi everyone, My name is Elmerei Cuevas from the Philippines. I grew up in Leyte Province which was one of the provinces greatly affected by Typhoon Haiyan back in 2013.
Growing up, I always valued opportunities that were presented to me no matter how unworthy I feel I am. I finished secondary school as a scholar and went on to study at a state-university finishing engineering. Graduating from public institutions helped me realize that I need to serve others in any way that I can.
After a few years of working under an FMCG, Social Enterprise, Tech Start Up, I started my own social start up which aimed to provide students, young professionals and freelancers a better alternative to cowork overnight providing them with needed amenities to improve productivity. In my stint as the company's founder and CEO, we were able to gather around 50 known testimonies of people who were helped through the services we offered. I have been a speaker to numerous university talks inspiring students to chase their dreams, start something innovative and help people as much as they can.
Unfortunately, in 2018, I encountered disagreements with my investors which caused me to step down from the company. This took a toll on my life as I was drowning in debt at the same time got diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I realized that I lacked technical skills and learning to better manage the opportunities given to me.
Just this week, I received a letter saying I got accepted as a delegate to the Harvard College Project for Asian International Relations (HPAIR) 2020 at Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 2020. From a thousand applicants, I became part of the 450 delegates to be selected. (You may see my acceptance letter attached). This is actually my second time applying for such a prestigious conference. And even on my second attempt, I still was not able to be granted a scholarship to the conference. This means that all costs (flights, accommodation, conference registration) will be shouldered by the delegate.
In all honesty, I feel shy starting a crowdfunding campaign for this since I know there are a lot more pressing and urgent causes like people's medical emergencies, NGO advocacies etc. I too have considered that it is easier to just let the opportunity go simply because I do not have enough funds to even go and attend. That maybe this opportunity is not really for me.
But I might hate myself more if I do not try. That even I I feel unworthy, maybe you would see something in me that is worth the trust. Hence I appeal to the dreamer in you to help send me to this conference. Because I know that what I will learn there, I can bring back to my country to start something that may help the dreams of more people. I appeal to the visionary in you that your investment in me will one day along the road enable more people's visions to come into reality through the future projects I will start after being trained/mentored by the great speakers at the conference. Lastly, I appeal to the story-teller in you. We all want to hear success stories in our lifetimes and in some way, we are capable of helping others reach their success. I admit this is a part of mine. And you helping me will make you one of my ladders to that success. Another great story to tell.
Help me make this story a success. Thank you.