SM Foundation uplifts scholars’ economic status through scholarship program
SM scholar alumna Mary Justine Torres
During a recent ‘kumustahan’ with its scholar-graduates, scholar alumni shared their experiences post-graduation and as a member of the country’s workforce.
Mary Justine Torres, an SM scholar alumna and a graduate of BS Commerce Major in Banking and Finance from the National University Batch 2013 recalled how the scholarship from SM helped pave the way to achieving her dreams.
“Mahirap man ang naging buhay naming noon, naging instrumento ng Diyos ang SM Foundation upang matulungan ang isang katulad ko na makapagtapos ng pag-aaral,” she said.
As the daughter of a tricycle driver and a housewife, Mary Justine knew that a good education would be the key to a brighter future for her whole family.
Mary Justine explained, “Nakapahalaga ng edukasyon para sa akin dahil alam kong ito ang kailangan ko upang magkaroon ako at ang pamilya ko ng maganda at maayos na kinabukasan.”
Mary Jane shared with the SMFI Officers one of the most important lessons learned during her time as a scholar. “Tinuruan ako ng SM Foundation na lalong magsikap at siguraduhing ibigay ang lahat ng makakaya sa anumang bagay na aking gagawin. Ito ay nadala ko hanggang ako ay magtrabaho na,” she further shared.
Mary Justine now works at a multi-national company as a Credit Support Specialist II. Through her hard work and perseverance, she has already acquired a townhouse unit for her family and is able to support her parents and fund her sister’s education.
SM scholar alumna Luche Angsinco
Another scholar alumna who shared her story was Luche Angsinco of Davao City. An only child of a company driver and a housewife, Luche recalled her humble beginnings. She applied for the SM scholarship in 2001 at SM City Davao, which was still under construction at that time.
Luche obtained a degree in BS Accountancy from the Ateneo de Davao University. After graduating, she immediately looked for a job to support herself and her family. Through hard work and dedication, she rose from the ranks and is now a Bank Manager.
As a big sister to the scholar-graduates, Luche reminded them not to be picky with their first jobs. Each job is a source of work experience.
“Starting your first venture into the working world early also allows you to use your youth to your advantage. Chances are, your first job is going to be mainly about learning to work as much as working itself. With this, you need patience and perseverance to learn - and soon you will genuinely smile as success will always be your twin," Luche said.
Luche continued by saying, “Our job experience will further our skills and knowledge. Getting out there and getting the experience is a surefire way to learn more. It gives us the opportunity to apply the skills that we learned from the academe. And by applying these skills, your significant accomplishments can then be cited on your resume to further your career.”
Now Luche not only supports her parents, but also actively gives back to her community via supporting an orphanage run by sisters in Davao, and organizing and participating in feeding programs for the poor, including the garbage collectors in their area.
Whenever possible, Luche also volunteers her time to support SMFI's efforts to reach its stakeholders. She said that it is her way of passing on the kindness received from her benefactors.
“I am forever grateful to SMFI. Without my scholarship during my college days, I might not be where I am right now. Now, I am able to provide a comfortable life to my family. Thank you, Tatang. Kahit saan man ako magpunta sa buong Pilipinas, SM Mall pa rin ang hahanap-hanapin ko. I am a forever supporter,” she ended.
SMFI, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993. SMFI continues to uplift the economic status not only of these students but also their families and communities by providing them with access to quality tertiary education, a major factor to subsequent gainful employment.
To date, SMFI has supported almost 5,500 scholars nationwide.