“When SM Foundation called me to tell me that I got accepted into the scholarship, I felt like I just won the lottery!”

“When SM Foundation called me to tell me that I got accepted into the scholarship, I felt like I just won the lottery!”

“When SM Foundation called me to tell me that I got accepted into the scholarship, I felt like I just won the lottery!” SM Scholar alumna, Michelle Baritua exclaimed.

Michelle added that being an SM Scholar made her feel like a winner – filled with hope, she felt like her future seemed a little brighter.

Daughter to a gardener and a vendor, Michelle didn’t expect too much while growing up. The feeling of fear would often overwhelm her, as she would think that going to college would just remain a dream for her. All this changed however, when she received a call from SM Foundation one faithful day. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Michelle completed her degree in Accountancy at the University of the East, finished cum laude and is now a Certified Public Accountant. 

She joined SM Retail, Inc. as a Tax Compliance Officer and is now able to support her siblings through college. She is also able to travel the country and is in the process of buying a new home for her whole family. She is now living her dream!

In deep gratitude, Michelle sends this open letter Tatang Henry Sy:

Dear Tatang,

Thank you so much for this gift of hope – this hope that took me to where I am today; this hope that takes me to places I only once dreamed of; and this hope that will take me to even farther places.

Thank you for helping us realize our once impossible dream of going to college. My family and I will forever be grateful to you and to the SM Foundation family. I thank you and the Foundation for believing in me and giving me a reason to continue dreaming.

Please rest assured that I will use this opportunity you have given me to help prosper my family and my community. Please rest assured that this gift will not be put to waste and instead, will be magnified to the people around me. Finally, please rest assured that my family will be excluded in the list of poor families in the Philippines--a step nearer to your dream of having no more poor families in the community.