Dece Chris Ruiz was exposed to the adversities of life at a very young age. Growing up, she watched her parents struggle to provide for their family’s needs.
Dece’s father is a construction worker at an electric company. Her mother used to work as a checker at a grocery store but had to stop working after developing goiter, making her father the sole breadwinner for the family. Hardworking as Dece’s father has always been, his meager income, reduced further by occasional illnesses that keep him from putting in the required work hours, can not support the family’s daily needs, let alone shoulder the school fees for Dece and her two siblings.
“It was almost impossible to pursue my studies, more so a degree in medicine, with the hardships our family have been facing. My parents are growing old and getting sick, and it scares me to think that there is nothing I can do about it,” Dece shared in an interview.
The family faced a bigger challenge when Dece’s grandfather was hospitalized before Christmas of 2019 because of a brain injury. Due to their lack of financial capacity to continue the medication, Dece’s grandfather passed away before the end of the year.
“My lolo’s passing was a traumatic experience for me. I thought that if only I were a doctor, I could have done something to save him. This experience further strengthened my aspirations of becoming a doctor and helping my family in every way I can,” said Dece.
She shared that she dreams of becoming a doctor not only to support her family but to help her community as well.
When she learned about the SCG Sharing the Dream Program, Dece did not think twice about applying for a scholarship. The SCG Sharing the Dream is a scholarship program spearheaded by SCG together with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) with the aim to support students secure a better future for themselves and their families through quality education.
Dece failed to get into the scholarship program on her first try, but this only made her more eager to chase her dream and apply again, until she landed the scholarship since 2015.
Now, the 18-year-old student from Rizal Technological University walks to school every day to pursue her dream and take her family out of poverty and give them a better future.
Dece is currently enrolled as a first-year college student at RTU taking up BS Biology for her pre-medicine degree. She plans to specialize in cardiology or become a general surgeon in a public hospital in her community as she believes this will allow her to help more people. If given the chance, Dece would also like to give back to SCG in any way possible to show her gratitude to the company for supporting her studies.
By helping young Filipinos continue their education, SCG hopes to contribute to developing a sustainable community that will then lead the country forward. Today, SCG supports more than 2,000 scholars from Batangas, Bulacan, Taguig and Manila, and 12,126 High school and 111 College Scholars from other Asian countries.
“Life is not always easy; it will throw us challenges that will take us aback but we should keep striving to succeed. Once opportunity knocks, we should always be ready to welcome it. I’m sincerely grateful to SCG for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream and help my family,” Dece concluded.