Armed with his big dreams and desire to be of public service, a youth leader from Barangay Villa Ibaba has proved that challenges aren’t a hindrance to be where you wanted to be.

Twenty-five–year-old Rizaldy Villamiel-Briz has been serving as his barangay’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman since 2018. In his two years of experience, he has achieved milestones he could only dream about before.

As the fourth out of the six children of Rodelio Briz and Estrellita Villamiel, Rizaldy had a simple lifestyle growing up. Being part of a big family, however, posed certain challenges in his life. He finished high school but had to put his college dreams on hold due to financial constraints.  But he knew he couldn’t let this stop him for becoming who he wanted to be. He took up vocational course on Computer Hardware Servicing while trying to earn a living through hog raising in the meantime.

In 2015, he was among the five residents in Atimonan who were given a full scholarship on Shielded Metal Arc Welding in Quezon National Agricultural School in Pagbilao.

The scholarship grant is part of Atimonan One Energy’s Kaisa sa Kasanayan (KASANAY) program which aims to provide capacity building and job creation for the residents of its host municipality.

After completing the program, he was able to work in a shipyard in Subic, Zambales as a welder for about six months.

Even as he takes on different opportunities along the way, Rizaldy never forgot his aspiration to get a college degree. So, when he thought the time was right, he decided to go back to his hometown and fulfill this dream.

With the support from his parents, Rizaldy is now on his first year in college taking up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Leon Guinto Memorial College in Atimonan. And despite his busy schedule as a student, he makes sure that he still fulfills his duty as a SK chairman.

Even if his family has no political background, he is driven by his immense desire to serve other people in his own little ways.  In his current role as an SK chairman, he initiates programs on education, sports, environment, tourism and livelihood,

He was able to pass a barangay resolution against rumor mongering and spreading false information among residents of his barangay.

In 2019, Rizaldy was named as the “Most Outstanding SK in Atimonan” because of his extraordinary contribution in the development of his barangay.

Rizaldy together with the SK chairmen from Zone I and II also won first place in a virtual quiz bee organized by the SK Provincial Federation last September 24-25 where more than 60 SK chairmen from the 20 municipalities in Quezon participated.

With two years left in his term, Rizaldy remains committed in initiating more programs that will help his fellow youth in different ways.

And even at his young age, he is a testament that challenges in life bring experience and lessons that can be used towards reaching onesgoals moving forward.

“I believe that the road of life is not always smooth, rosy or comfortable. There are times that you will experience failure in the pursuit of success that would sometimes discourage you. But you have to keep going because your dreams could only be a few steps away,” said Rizaldy.

“God will surely give the desires of your heart. Just be patient and wait for His timing. And of course, you need to work hard and build your self-confidence,” he mused.