Bright Lights Learning Centre

Filippino ALS Students


Support young people in poverty realise their dream for education.

Delivering hope through education to young people in poverty.

2022-23 Enrolments


Bright Lights ALS


External Students


College Students


Education through Bright Lights ALS

The Bright Lights Learning Centre provides catch up education through the Philippines DepEd Alternative Learning System (ALS) for those who have missed vital parts of their education and are now too old to go back to normal schools.

External students are in two categories.


There are squatter settlement students who are able to be part of government schools but need help with costs such as uniforms, books and travel.


There are students who have passed the Bright Lights ALS program and are now eligible for Senior Secondary studies.

Bright Lights Learning Center Students
Delivering education modules to students in Covid-19

Educating through Covid-19

Due to Covid restrictions all of the students in VOGCM programs are receiving their education in a different way to that which was previously offered.

ALS students have modules delivered to their homes. Students are divided into Adviosry Groups with each group having a teacher advisor.

Public school students and College students are able to do online learning. The Bright Lights Learning Center’s school facility computer lab and laptops are used by students as most of them do not have any access to this type of technology at home. There is a rotating time schedule with small numbers at any one time in order to fulfil social distancing requirements.

Bright Lights Teaching Staff

Their Stories

Cathy's Story - "I now serve as the Principal of the school"

I am Cathy Felicilda-Cipriano. In 2006 I had managed to finish my high school program but due to family circumstances could go no further and found myself working for $3.00 a day in a sweatshop in our local area making t-shirts for an international company. In the same year by a miracle of God and various circumstances I became the first young woman to be offered a university college scholarship through the Bright Lights Learning Center. I took up the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and by God’s grace graduated with flying colors as Cum laude from Arellano University. I then passed the Licensure exam for Teachers in 2010. My training as an assistant teacher at BL while studying in college opened the door for me to be employed as one of their permanent teachers right after graduation. After 10 years of teaching, I now serve as the Principal of the school since October of 2019.

My graduation statement is found in Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I may have trodden the path of poverty and a meaningless life during my youth but after surrendering my life to Jesus gradually God has molded me, called me and appointed me to my present role, as a teacher/principal, wife and now a mother. God rescued me from what could have been an unproductive citizenship of our country. How wonderful to be a frontliner presently serving and educating the out of school youth in our society. Indeed God knows exactly His plan for you and me, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and bright future.

I want to thank you all for being part of my transformation from hopelessness to productivity. Your encouragement, visits to our country and generous giving is making a difference and is changing lives one by one. Thank you so much!

Renan's Story - "From meager to teacher"

Hello my name is Renan Castillo Aguilar. I was born into a poor family in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. I am the fourth child of seven. My father is just an ordinary logger and farmer, while my mother was full-time in our home lovingly rearing us. In 1991, my father grabbed the opportunity for us to move to the big city of Manila in hope of a better life. Unfortunately our lives became even more miserable, wandering from one small town to another. I can still remember barely having enough to fill our stomachs and unable to pursue any schooling. This chaotic situation was aggravated by my parents’ lack of funds which eventuate into frequent heated arguments.

My two older brothers who had only finished elementary, were forced to finish their schooling and assist my father on a construction site. My mother worked as a laundry woman and a house helper. Their combined earnings were still insufficient to meet our growing needs and I had to face my greatest fear, to stop my schooling, stay at home and look after my younger siblings.

In 2001, we transferred to another depressed area in Cainta, Rizal (just outside Manila) with a hope that soon we could buy a very small piece of land and bamboo house. This process took a further four years of saving every peso. In the end the house cost A$300.00. After finally settling in our own house, the greatest trial in our family hit us. My dearest mother died of a heart attack. Since then, our life was full of sadness and emptiness.

After six years of misery, hopelessness, and not being in school, suddenly, God provided a glimpse of hope, I was given the chance to study again. However from the result of my entrance examination, I needed to begin at grade three. This situation did not deter me and I took the opportunity and completed grade three at 14 years of age. It was at this stage again, that I was introduced to Bright Lights Learning Center.

After a year of hard work, together with the incredible encouragement of the teachers I passed the Accreditation and Equivalency Test (A&E Test) for Elementary, completing three grades in one year. Then in just another year of rigid studies and reviews, I passed the A&E Test for Secondary Level and earned my High School Diploma. This achievement brought back my confidence and self-esteem because I finished all four grades of High School in only one year. I was so grateful for all my teachers, the sponsors and the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the Department of Education. This individualised method of learning is effective and successful giving a chance for an average ‘Out of School Youth (OSY)’ like me to catch up with their studies, earn their High School Diploma and have the hope of a higher education and bright future.

After graduating from High School, I continued my studies at Bright lights Learning Center for one year in its Bridging Program in English, a course that further trained, developed and equipped me for College Life, after which, I was granted a further scholarship to pursue my dream course, a Bachelor in Elementary Education, at Arellano University. Being financially in a hard place as a family I faced so many outside challenges but to my surprise I excelled in the university atmosphere and made the Dean’s list each year. In April 2013, I graduated from College and then after six months I successfully passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET).

Upon graduating, I was hired as a teacher and Instructional Manager (IM) at the Bright Lights Learning Center. I am now earning enough to be independent from my father and stepmother. My small salary allows me to rent a small room closer to the school to accommodate my three younger siblings; feed them; and provide for their daily needs and school requirements. The three of them are also sponsored students of Bright Lights Learning Center. My younger brother Melbert also completed his time at the center, studied at university and is now a Licensed Criminologist. Ma-an, my third sibling is a graduate of both Bright Lights and her course, a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education. She is at present working and reviewing for the upcoming exam for teachers (LET). Our youngest, Arabela, is now in grade eleven in a public school, sponsored also through the Bright Lights external student program.

In June of the year 2017, I began my Masters in Education majoring in Educational Management. At present I am writing my Thesis. I am now in my 9th.year of teaching at Bright Lights Learning Center and I believe, by pursuing these further studies, I can be an agent of change, serving many other young people who by no fault of their own are stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty. I am reminded constantly that we as young people never lacked the ability just an opportunity. Through Bright Lights and the endless help and commitment of Sponsors we can and do achieve the amazing.

I count myself one of the most blessed young men, favoured by our God and now a working professional. Indeed, at Bright Lights Learning Center, through God’s grace, hard work and a great team of supporters, precious lives are being changed…one by one.

This is Renan Castillo Aguilar,

From Meager to Teacher.

Student Success Stories

Your support continues to change lives of young people in poverty. Many of them believed that education was only a dream, but your sponsorship has begun to turn their dream into a reality.

Bright Light Student Erika

Erika's Story

Read Erika's heartwarming story of how she went from struggling to help support her family to now leading a wonderful life with a rewarding career.

I will always be thankful to all the people who have made my journey possible through their help and loving heart.

Bright Light Student Omar

Omar's Story

Omar's story is like many other Filipino students. A lack of finances in the family resulted in Omar not being able to stay at school. Read about Omar's amazing journey from struggle to success, as he graduates with the help of Bright Lights!

I am now a full-time teacher at Bright Lights Learning Center teaching computing.

Bright Light Student Maricar

Maricar's Story

From tough beginnings, Maricar shares about her life of heartache and struggle. Read how she finds success, peace and love through the support given to her by Bright Lights. Maricar now works with Voice of Grace Compassion Ministries in the role of Sponsorship Coordinator.

It is through Bright Lights that I felt loved, valued and supported.

How You Can Help