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Famous Celebrities with Rags-to-Riches Stories

They now belong to the roster of the world’s super rich people but there are many famous celebrities and personalities who once were so poor that they could barely afford to buy food to fill their hungry stomachs!

Steve Jobs

Before he became a millionaire at age 23, the youngest at the time to make it to Forbes’ list of the country’s richest people, Steve Jobs was poor. The child of two immigrant students who struggled to make ends meet, he was put up for adoption.

Matthew Yohe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The adoption itself was probably a blessing to Jobs whose adoptive father supported his love for electronics. This was how he eventually made a fortune.

Ralph Lauren

YES Network, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The name ‘Ralph Lauren’ is so famous in the fashion industry that it is surprising to learn Lauren had been a poor immigrant who had only dreamed of becoming rich someday. He reportedly wrote “millionaire” as his future goal on his high school year book – and he managed to do that after building his own company from scratch.

Oprah Winfrey

photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Born into a poor Mississippi family in 1954, Oprah Winfrey ran away from home at age 13 following a difficult childhood under the hands of family members and a family friend. She went on to become first African-American TV correspondent in the state of Tennessee at 19 and an acclaimed TV host who would later own her TV network.

She is officially recognized as the first female black billionaire with a net worth of around $2.6 billion.

J.K. Rowling

Daniel Ogren, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Before she made a fortune that’s estimated to be at least $60 million with the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mom who could barely pay their rent. She battled depression before becoming one of the world’s most famous writers.

Celine Dion

Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up in a family with 14 children, Celine Dion experienced hardships and didn’t even have a room of her own. She slept on a little ramp that led to her siblings’ shared bedrooms. She rose to fame as one of the world’s most powerful singers and is now worth at least $455 million.

Dolly Parton

Curtis Hilbun, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Born to a tobacco farmer and construction worker who didn’t even know how to read or write, Dolly Parton shared the struggles of her family as the fourth of 12 children. But the young girl soon became a world-famous singer who would later win nine Grammy awards and is now worth more than $37 million.

Halle Berry

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hally Berry slept in homeless shelters and struggled to make ends meet before becoming a famous actress with a net worth of around $80 million.

Inspiring

Dad Who Returned Phone He Found in Jeep: “I Want to Be a Role Model for My Kids”

One dad who’s struggling financially and has a special-needs child didn’t feel tempted to keep or sell a phone he found in a jeep. He said that he immediately thought of his kids when he found the phone and wanted to do the right thing as a role model for his children!

Guy Goes Viral for Returning Phone He Found in Jeep

Some netizens argue that good deeds like returning money or a cellphone you found somewhere should not be something that should be in the news. After all, returning something you don’t own is one thing that people should do!

But with so many people taking advantage of others, and a lot of people losing valuable stuff and never getting them back, it’s really still impressive to hear stories of the honest ones who return items that aren’t theirs – especially valuables.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

Christian Baluyot, 22, is a dad to two kids, one of whom is a special-needs 3-year-old child. Working as a merchandiser, Christian doesn’t earn much, but when he found a cellphone in a jeep, he wasn’t tempted to keep it.

Immediately after finding the phone (an iPhone), he made attempts to find the owner by posting about it on his Facebook account.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

The owner, Patricia Tawat, didn’t see his post but was surprised when Christian answered the phone when she called it.

‘Wag ka mag-alala, ate. Ibabalik ko po cellphone mo. Hindi ko po kayang gumawa ng masama,” the young man told her after picking up on the second ring.

Impressed, Patricia posted about the experience, praising Christian for being honest.

After the post went viral, Christian explained that he didn’t think it was a big deal and that he was only doing something that he thought was right. When he found the phone, his only thoughts were his children – and how he wants to be their role model.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

Ang turo po ng magulang ko sa’kin, kahit na po maghirap, basta ‘wag lang gumawa ng masama,” he explained. “Inisip ko po agad na may anak ako. Ayoko po kasi magaya anak ko sa masasamang tao.

Inspired by this honest young man, Patricia wrote:

Sa panahon ngayon, meron pa ring mga taong kahit hirap at gipit sa buhay, hindi pa rin sasagi sa isip nila gumawa ng masama mas pipiliin paring maging mabuti.

Saludo ako sa’yo kuya. Sobrang swerte ng mga anak mo sa’yo.

Characteristics of a Role Model

The following are some characteristics of a role model:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Humility
  • Self-awareness and self-focus
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy and kindness
  • Positive-thinker
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Inspiring

Teen Who Risked Life to Saved Drowning Dog from River Receives Scholarship, Other Rewards

He risked his life to save a dog from the river – and it wasn’t even theirs! For that, a teen received praise from netizens and got rewarded with a senior high school scholarship, smartphone, and groceries. Wow.

Teen Handsomely Rewarded After Saving a Drowning Dog

Margole Miko Ilagan recently shared a video of the heart-stopping rescue mission that a teen did at the river to save a drowning dog. Netizens were impressed that the teen, identified as Angelo Diolata Flores, risked his life to save the poor creature.

Photo credit: GMA News

In the clip, Angelo could be seen rushing to the dog’s aid by swiftly moving towards the creature from the side of the sloping dike. It was a difficult feat because there was nothing much for him to hold on to, yet this young man did not mind.

It was also clear from the shouts of encouragement and warning from the people taking the video that the dog wasn’t even theirs. They warned him to be extra careful because the frightened dog might bite him.

Photo credit: GMA News

But the dog must have sensed that this human wasn’t there to harm it but to save its life. It appears to be whimpering as Angelo tried to gain its trust.

Then, the young man had to face another challenge as he tried to bring the dog out of the river and up the dike. Thankfully, there was a wire he could hold on to in that part of the river. He used that to keep his balance as he pushed the dog up. The mission was a success!

Photo credit: GMA News

For his heroic deed, Angelo was hailed as Animal Kingdom Foundation’s Young Hero. He also received scholarship for senior high school, smartphone, and grocery items from the Animal Kingdom Foundation.

Watch the video here:

What’s the Animal Kingdom Foundation?

Also known simply as the AFK, the Animal Kingdom Foundation is a non-profit animal welfare organization in the Philippines. The non-profit organization (NGO) is based in Tarlac and aims to improve the living and welfare conditions of animals.

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Inspiring

Hardworking Dad Goes Viral for Graduating from College Despite Many Challenges

A hardworking dad of four recently went viral after he graduated from college despite the many challenges he faced in his many jobs and in school. His story has inspired so many people because he never gave up on his dreams.

Dad Works Many Jobs to Support Family and Studies

His obviously advanced age set him apart from the other students at Tagoloan Community College in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, but Tatay Jerome V. Velez did not let that define him as a student.

Instead, he worked hard to support his family and his studies, even if that meant backbreaking work in various odd jobs during the day, then struggling to cope with his studies at night.

Photo credit: Ading Salvane

In a post that has gone viral on Facebook, Tatay Jerome’s classmate, Ading Salvane, shared his story to inspire others as they graduate from college.

According to Ading, Tatay Jerome is a shy man whom she met on her third year in college. They were classmates in one subject they took on Saturdays.

Ading was impressed to learn that her old classmate is the father of four kids whom he supported by working as a maintenance worker in the pineapple fields of Del monte. Aside from that, Tatay Jerome also worked as a laborer, carpenter, and farmer.

Photo credit: Ading Salvane

To make ends meet, Tatay Jerome rented a one-hectare land which he also took time to cultivate on his own.

Pandemic Challenges

With his advanced age, Tatay Jerome had difficulties keeping up with his classmates during the pandemic when classes had to be done online.

He’s not adept with gadgets and they didn’t even have a good mobile/internet connection at home.

Encouraged by Ading and their other classmates, Tatay Jerome enrolled – and managed to pass all their requirements, though he was often late in doing so. Thankfully, the teachers understood.

Photo credit: Ading Salvane

After all the hard work and sacrifices, Tatay Jerome finally graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Financial Management, Batch 2021.

What’s a Laborer?

A laborer is someone who does unskilled manual work for wages. These wage-earners do manual labor, for a much lower rate than skilled workers.

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