How Rossana Llenado Got AHEAD
Rossana Ladaga Llenado is a successful Filipina entrepreneur. She is the brains and force behind one of the country’s most successful review and learning centers, AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center.
Looking at Rossana now, you would not believe she hails from very simple beginnings. Her own father did not finish formal schooling, making it all the more ironic that she has become one of the country’s top proponents for quality education. However, it is precisely because of her humble beginnings that have made Rossana value education and hard work all the more.
It is a miracle in itself that she was able to obtain a college education form UP Los Banos given her poor background. Her family was so poor, she couldn’t afford to buy her own textbooks, so she spent her time in the library studying.
A product of the public school system in the Laguna area, it was only through the financial aid and the help of an uncle that Rossana was able to get a Degree at UP Los Banos. Early on, she knew that to get ahead, she had to take matters into her own hands. She supplemented her allowance and helped her parents out by selling whatever she could. From mangoes, to polvoron, rubber bands and toys, Rossana did what she could to survive. She scheduled her classes so that it left her ample time to take on odd jobs. On top of her busy school and work schedule, she still had to do her share of household chores such as laundry and cleaning to help her parents. She also remained well rounded by joining several extra curricular activities and even playing for her college soccer team.
After graduation, Rossana worked in different fields, including real estate. In her twenties, she got married and later became a mother. It was a tough balancing act being a working mom, wife and so she decided to start her own business so she could stay at home to raise her two children back then.
In 1995, she started AHEAD with only P5000. She tutored students from her rented living room apartment in Pasig and only had her other friends who were Magna and Summa cum Laude graduates as other tutors. Rossana set her business apart from other review centers by focusing on preparing the students for the UPCAT. She later expanded to focused exam based reviews for the Ateneo Entrance Exam, as well as the De La Salle Entrance Exam.
The high passing and acceptance rate of her review center graduates made her a widely popular choice for senior students seeking the competitive edge. Three years after founding the review center, she put up Ahead Books and Things, with the publication of the industry’s first UPCAT review book. Within five years, AHEAD was established as the country’s premiere tutorial and review center. She also established AHEAD Professional Network.
Only in her early forties, Rossana has already achieved more that most people twice her age. It is a remarkable feat and a testament to this lady’s tenacity that she has overcome the odds to become one of the most successful businesswomen in the country today, all the while raising four children.
Rossana’s achievements have been met with several awards and accolades, including the Gold Quill for Marketing from the International Association of Business Communicators; Agora for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship from the Philippine Marketing Association; Aurelio Periquet Jr. Leadership Award; Ilaw ng Karunungn award from Philam Life; and the “Outstanding Educational Administrator” by the Consumers Union of the Philippines. She has also been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine and Mom Magazine, and is constantly being invited as a guest speaker to provide inspiration for the next generation.
One of the things that makes Rossana’s success story unique, is that instead of looking outside the country for opportunities for success, she turned inward and sought how she could help her country and herself. Instead of migrating, she found a need in the country, met it and raised the standards of expectation. She revolutionized the way tutorial centers are viewed, by making it a necessary supplemental aspect in a child’s education rather than where only lazy and underachievers go to. She raised the quality and standardized review centers.
This Renaissance woman is a shinning example of how far the competitive human spirit and unwavering focus and determination can take someone from the bottom rungs of socio economic poverty, to the very pinnacle of success. Even at the top, Rossana still wants to do more. She is currently taking up her Masters Degree in Educational Administration in Ateneo. She is also working on establishing a foundation to provide training to school principals. She is constantly thinking of businesses and projects that will benefit the Filipino community.
Without a doubt, success will meet this lady, whatever dreams she sets for herself.