SM Foundation awards scholarship to 500 nationwide


By Rose de la Cruz


Five hundred high school graduates, all from indigent families, were awarded scholarship grants by SM Foundation Inc. at the Mall of Asia Arena Annex building for those coming from MM and nearby Luzon provinces and simultaneously in SM stores and malls in different parts of the country.


Of this, 35 percent are from the National Capital Region and 65 percent from the provinces. SM Foundation added new areas to this year’s batch of scholars from Daet, Sorsogon and Bataan.


The program has already graduated 3,274 (including 300 that will be finishing this year).


The awarding of scholarship certificates was witnessed by Nanang Felicidad T. Sy, wife of SM founder, the late Tatang Henry Sy Sr.; son Harley Sy and SM Foundation board of trustees Jose Sio, president; Debbie Sy, executive director and trustees Dr. Lydia Echauz and Engr. Ramon Gil Macapagal.


Sio told the awardees that they are part of the 35 percent of high school graduates that would be getting a college degree each year (and this is because of their scholarship). He exhorted them to focus on their studies, work hard and strive to achieve their dreams/goals, the same tenets that drove Henry Sy Sr. to greatness. He told them of the extreme financial challenges Tatang faced in his life but withstood all of these because of these tenets.


Harley Sy urged the parents in attendance to always be there to support your children every step of the way. The foundation can’t do it alone, neither can your children. Be there for them. This is a family undertaking.


Echauz and Debbie Sy urged the scholars to work hard and do your best to reach the top. “The foundation is now part of your family,” they said.


Macapagal said the scholars must use the grade requirement and academic challenges as compass to their success. Put all your efforts to be excellent in the next four or five years. Your parents and your SM family will be there to support you and of course never forget to ask help from your God.


Alumni speak


Marvin Perez, 29, who finished electronics and communications engineering at Bulacan State University and immediately found a job in Alkabr, Saudi Arabia. He took his special licensing board exam in the embassy there while working for Rezayat, a conglomerate, there for 9 years in IT. He told the incoming scholars to not waste this opportunity given them by studying hard and working for excellence. His dad and mom joined him in Saudi to work later. He and father arrived here last Tuesday to bury his mother here and stay permanently in the Philippines (with the unstable Saudi labor climate). He was sent his younger siblings — Marbel, 17 (an incoming freshman in electrical engineering) and Marvic (who is finishing civil engineering this year). Before his SM scholarship his parents were jobless (his dad was only parttime driver). He always drops by the foundation whenever he returns to the Philippines.


Michaella Abello, scholar who finished accountancy in 2015 at National University tearfully recalled her family’s travails, which made her desperate to get a college scholarship from SM Foundation. She now works with SM Prime Holdings. Her father is a driver and her mother, a housewife. She suggested to her mother after finishing high school that she would not go to college but work. Her mother did not approve but asked her to apply for several scholarships—which she did for four organizations, which she passed three including CHED. She scrimped on her allowance and summer jobs so she could buy an Android phone for herself, digital cameras, laptop, washing machine and many more. Upon graduation, she applied for a job at SM, through the foundation. A week or more later, she got a call from SM Prime and was interviewed. Even if she had to commute daily to MOA from Maligaya near SM Fairview. After two years of hardwork, she got promoted from newbie to supervisory position at the SM Prime treasury. In her four years working with SM Prime she was able to buy her family a house and lot with the mortgage almost fully paid. She said she learned from her work at SM that “it is not about how much you earn, but how much you save.”


Engr. Christian Acosta, with the engineering group, who finished in 2010 as summa cum laude from civil engineering. He was an SM Foundation scholar at NU his scholarship told the scholars that their journey would not be easy. He is now also teaching civil engineering at NU. His parents were jobless and he thought of being a working student (crew with fastfood chain). In college, he said, it is important to carefully pick your peers with same study habits and you need to focus. He told the scholars to be proud of their SM scholarship. You need not study hard but study smart through study groups. He said he was able to earn his car and some millions from his job at SM Prime and from other sidelines.









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Sunday, 25 August 2019
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