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FOR a person to grow, he should not stop learning. A differently-abled student relied on this saying to give him strength whenever he came across people who have doubts about his capability to learn. Ricky Labrador Jr., 18, a deaf-mute, graduated valedictorian of his high school class at the Mandaue City Central Integrated Special Education School.

He was among the 200 valedictorians who met with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday as they attended a three-day leadership training organized by the Provincial Government. He does not consider his condition as a hindrance to attaining his goals. Labrador was sick with fever when he was a baby and became deaf-mute. Despite his condition, he excelled in his class and even got elected as president of the supreme student council of his school.

His father is a security guard and his mother is a staff member of the University of the Visayas in Mandaue City. Labrador thanked the governor for the opportunity to fulfill his dreams.