SM Foundation, through its Scholarship Program, officially awarded scholarship grants to 200 incoming college students nationwide for this School Year 2020-2021 last Aug. 15 via Zoom platform.
This virtual gathering aimed to officially welcome and orient the new scholars about the benefits of the program, how to maintain their scholarship grants and inspire them to finish their studies through the use of social good stories in order to uplift the economic status of their families.
In addition, SMFI also intended to engage the parents of their scholars in order to promote shared responsibility between SMFI, the scholars and their parents during the academic journey. Some officials of the SM Foundation, SM scholar alumnus, and new SM scholars delivered inspiring messages.
The new SM college scholarship recipients had undergone tedious screening and selection process and would make the total number of current SM scholars for this school year to 1,300.
During the digital event, Carmen Linda Atayde, the Executive Director for SMFI Education programs stressed the importance of having enrichment activities for their scholars.
“Preparing our scholars for a better tomorrow takes more than just sending them to school and handing them checks. We believe that in order to sustain the engagement of our scholars, we need to regularly conduct regular enrichment and training activities such as the General Assembly, Christmas Party, SM Scholar Recollection, Online Scholarship Platform walkthroughs and Presentation of the Graduates. Through these activities, SMFI is able to further boost the intellectual, emotional and social skills of the SM Scholars. It also enables the SMFI Scholarship team to address the individual needs of each SM Scholar,” Atayde said.
On the other hand, Atty. Jun Borcelis, one of the first scholars of SM, urged the new scholars to strive in their studies, “To all SM scholars, dapat laging magsipag at magtyaga sa buhay, hindi lang sa pag-aaral [we should all be industrious and persevering in life, not only in our studies]. When I was young, talagang napakahirap naming [we were really poor]. But my mother encouraged us to go to school and finish our studies.”
Dr. Lydia Echauz, SMFI independent trustee, further added that the scholars must also be punctual in their attendance and in submitting their schoolwork
“In order to succeed in life, you need to be determined to finish your study program. It will not be easy, it will not be smooth. But be determined to finish the program. College is very fulfilling and enjoyable if you do your part,” she stated.
As the flagship program of SM Foundation, scholars enjoy full tuition and miscellaneous fees subsidy. They also receive monthly stipend and are exposed to various enrichment activities and job opportunities at SM malls during their semestral or Christmas breaks. After graduating, they also have chance to land their dream jobs in companies within the SM Group.
They are given the option to enroll around 100 partner schools nationwide under the following field of studies: Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Computer, and Electronics), Education (Elementary and Secondary); Accountancy, and Financial Management, among others.
Before the conclusion of the virtual event, SMFI Executive Director Debbie Sy shared a message to the new SM Scholars, “This scholarship is indeed SM’s gift to you. I hope that you will take care of it, study well and work hard so that you will be able to graduate and reach your goals.”
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.