SM scholars gather for general assembly
Two hundred SM Foundation scholars gathered for their very first general assembly in Cebu last December 14 at the SM Seaside City Cebu.
The program started with a welcome message from Linda Atayde, SM Foundation executive director for education programs, sharing the motivating journey of SM founder and patriarch, Henry Sy Sr.
This was followed by four heart-felt testimonials from current SM Foundation technical-vocational scholars who shared the hardships they had to overcome and how the SM scholarship was an answer to their prayers.
With a renewed confidence for a brighter tomorrow, the scholars shared how much they look forward to help their own families as well. Two encouraging success stories from former SM Foundation college scholars gave the students much to look forward to when they complete their studies.
The highlight of the program was an inspirational message from SM Foundation Vice President for Plans and Programs Mario Deriquito, who shared four bite-sized lessons that the scholars can take with them in their journey.
First, Deriquito emphasized that each of the scholars should maximize their time as a student, of which their primary role is to learn. He stressed that learning is not only attained in the classroom but also outside, as it is important to volunteer in their respective communities.
Deriquito then underlined the importance of finding a good job that will enable each one to help themselves and their families.
Thirdly, Deriquito reminded the scholars that when the day comes that they are in the position to help, they should do so as the country needs a lot of good people.
Lastly, he pressed the importance of continuous learning and dreaming in order to carry on greater heights from this opportunity.
With a long but bright journey facing the SM scholars, Deriquito closed his message with a quote from J. Hudson Taylor: “I have always found three stages in every great work of God. First it is impossible. Then it is difficult. Then it is done.”
Of the 200 scholars, 165 were technical-vocational scholars taking up courses in Industrial Arts, Home Economics, Mechanical Technology and Automotive Technology in SM Foundation partner schools: Banilad Center for Professional Development, Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Don Bosco and School of Knowledge for Industrial Labor Leadership and Service. The SM scholars were also treated to a free movie screening of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
SM Foundation helps uplift the quality of life of the communities where SM is present.
In Cebu alone, the foundation supports 169 college scholars aside from the 165 technical-vocational scholars. It has also built and donated four school buildings with a total of 14 fully furnished classrooms. It has renovated and refurbished two health centers and has conducted six medical missions. The foundation has also trained a total of 1,096 farmers under its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program. Through SM Foundation’s Grow a Million Trees Program, 10,000 trees have been planted and are currently being cared for by its partner people’s organizations in the area.
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