Love Story Leads to College Graduation…Eventually
Posted: March 27, 2014
With 46 students celebrating graduation from certificate programs at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) recently, there are an equal number of intriguing stories – all beginning with hardship and culminating in the sweet fulfillment of one’s dreams and aspirations.
One such story involves not one – but two – graduates.
Fred Asencion was working at the Siltronic AG plant in Portland, when Francieve Aveovech, a co-worker, showed him a photo of her sister back home in the Philippines. Fred, also a Filipino, immediately began a long-distance relationship with Shiela. On his next vacation, he flew to the Philippines and met the woman of his dreams in person. Sparks continued to fly over the next eight months as the two wrote letters and ran up phone bills as they got to know one another better.
Later, Fred returned to the Philippines and he and Sheila had a huge wedding with about 300 guests. He flew back to Oregon alone and devoted his energies to arranging for his bride to join him in Portland. “It was the happiest day of my life when I greeted her at the airport,” recalls Fred, with Shiela nodding in agreement.
He helped her get a job at Siltronic, alongside himself and her sister, the matchmaker in their relationship. Two years later, the company cut 350 jobs at its silicon wafer plant in Portland, displacing the three workers.
In need of re-training for new occupations, they utilized government programs that provided for their education. Fred chose Machine Tool Technology and Sheila went for Nursing Assistant. Both programs not only train students in their specialized fields, they also help them improve their reading and writing skills.
March 20 is a special day for the Asencions -- that’s when Fred graduated, and four days later, Shiela received her nurse’s pin. But, let’s not overlook another important day in this couple’s story – their wedding day, Feb. 8, 2007.
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