Fuertes leads CFOS graduates

Humble beginnings did not deter Vince Neil B. Fuertes, the younger of the two children of Herculino M. Fuertes and Aileen Hazel B. Fuertes, to achieve academic excellence. The native of Dipatlong, Maribojoc, Bohol said he and an older sister were raised by their parents accustomed to simple living.

As a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries graduate, with a GWA of 1.447, Fuertes ends his undergraduate life in UP as magna cum laude and leads the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences 2016 graduates.

“Back then and until now, we never had much. My mother is a public school teacher while my father is the assistant head of the DRRM of the Maribojoc LGU,” he said. He credits his mother as the one who made sure that they would value education. It was no surprise then that he and his older sister were consistently at the top of their class during their elementary years and both graduated as valedictorians in Santa Cruz Elementary School. He also graduated with honors (1st) in Tagbilaran City Science High School.

Fuertes added that at a young age, he already had an inclination towards the sciences, spending hours reading science books, watching science shows and enjoying science subjects. He competed and won in science competitions in elementary and high school.

“I had high hopes upon entering UP because it is not just a university but a learning institution where the best of the best are found. Fisheries was not my first choice as degree program because I really wanted to be a Chemical Engineer like my sister. But my father suggested that I take fisheries because UPV is known to be the Center of Excellence in fisheries education,” he pointed out.

He said that despite having a hard time adjusting to the “UP way of life” and even attempted to shift, he now thinks that majoring in fisheries was really his destiny after qualifying for the Fisheries Scholarship Program (FSP) for Industry Leaders under the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. He learned to love the program, adjust to the “UP way of life,” and become a consistent university and college scholar with the support of his family, teachers and friends in the student organizations where he joined such as the UP Kadugong Bol-anon (organization of Boholanos in UP), UP Sonata (organization of music lovers and players in the university), and the Pufferfish Project Band.

“Fisheries is not just about catching fish, like what most people assume, rather, it is about food security, sustainability and technology. It was a privilege to be trained by brilliant professors. It is through them that I was able to further enhance my knowledge and skills in the field,” he emphasized.

He said that one of the best advices that he received as a student was from his thesis adviser, Dr. Fiona L. Pedroso, who said “Science does not stop because of hindrances, it progresses.”

“In UP, I learned that if you just learn to love what God has given to you, and put enough passion and effort to it, you will excel.” (With sources from Vince Neil B. Fuertes)

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