SM scholar alumni continue to live by SMFI’s principle
SM scholar alumnus Sylvester Charlon with his students before the pandemic.
SM scholar alumni Sylvester Charlon and Darmae Tan still carry with them this principle instilled in them by SM Foundation—People Helping People. With this culture, both Sylvester and Darmae went the extra mile in order to help others, in their own ways, during this pandemic.
Through the SM scholarship program, Charlon finished his bachelor’s degree in secondary education major in biology from the Philippine Normal University in 2010. He is now a public school teacher at North Fairview High School in Quezon City.
Understanding the plight of students in this new normal, Sylvester taught of a way on how to help them. Committed to continue Tatang Henry Sy Sr.’s legacy of supporting and empowering people through education, he created a YouTube channel (Sir Sly TV) to help his students with their lessons through this setup.
“My goal is to help students understand lessons in my subject better through the discussion in my videos,” he said.
Charlon says that because of SM Foundation (SMFI), he has become rich with knowledge, values, and experience that he can impart to future generations. “People helping people: That is the founding principle of SM Foundation and I carry that principle with me in my journey as a teacher,” he shared.
Another 2010 SM scholar graduate is Darmae Tan who finished a computer science degree from the University of the Philippines-Cebu. Now a mother of two, Darmae is busy managing her eight-year-old software development company, MYT SoftDev Solutions, Inc., and her latest venture, ErrandBoy.PH.
SM scholar alumnus Darmae Tan.
ErrandBboy.PH provides on-demand help such as courier service, purchase service, and bills payment service for people who are either too busy or have limited mobility because of the government-imposed restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19. The first employees Tan hired for her new company were displaced workers, mostly from the hospitality industries, affected by the pandemic. Tan envisions ErrandBoy.PH as a tool in helping people have time for more important things in life like time for their families.
“This is exactly how SM Foundation helped me. Aside from the financial help that they extended for my college education, they also helped me develop myself and figure out what I wanted my future to be like - which is to extend a helping hand to others and spread social good” Tan said.
“Not everyone is given the same opportunity, and I am very grateful to SMFI not only for the chance to have a quality college education but also for providing me with learning opportunities through various enrichment activities when I was still a scholar” Tan further added.
Among her most memorable experiences as a scholar was her participation during the annual SM Foundation graduation and presentation of graduates. “Aside from recognizing Scholars who graduated that school year, each graduate was also given a watch with our names engraved on it. For us, it is a priceless present from the Sy family, a memento signifying that SMFI was one with us on our scholarship journey. I actually have it with me until now and I consider it as one of my prized possessions” Tan recalled.
“I’d always label myself as a product of SM’s social good advocacy because I’ve been so fortunate to receive all the help I need the past years,” Tan says. She even shares her scholar experience with her children to teach them the importance of quality education and appreciate the things they have, “It is very important to teach them the value of kindness and compassion at a young age.”
To always pay it forward is the greatest lesson she learned from being a scholar that she applies to both her professional and family life.
This coming August 15, 2020, SM Foundation is set to formally welcome another batch of SM college scholars whose dreams are about to be reached because of a gift of education.
SMFI, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993. To date, SMFI has supported almost 5,500 scholars nationwide.