SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), together with SM Foundation (SMFI), Don Bosco One TVET Phils. Inc., and the city government of Pasay recently welcomed 20 deserving scholars to the SM-Pasay Technical-Vocational Scholarship Program via an online conferencing platform.
The said scholars—all came from financially challenged families residing in Pasay City— underwent a tedious screening and selection process. They were awarded a full tech-voc scholarship, covering tuition fees, monthly allowance, and various enrichment activities.
The 15-month training is composed of 10 months in-campus academic learning and 5 months On-the-Job Training (OJT) for the following tech-voc courses:
• Automotive Servicing NC I;
• Electrical Installation & Maintenance NC II;
• Machining NC II;
• Mechatronics Servicing NC II;
• Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC II; and
• Refrigeration and Air Conditioning NC II.
During the event, SM Prime AVP for Public Relations Rida Reyes formally welcomed the scholars, as well as their parents, to the program. “Alam niyo po ba yung kasabihang daig ng maagap ang masipag? In this case, ito pong 20 scholars na kasama natin ngayong hapon na ito ay mga maagap. Dahil hindi ninyo pinalampas ang opportunity na makapag-aral upang ma-improve ninyo ang inyong mga sarili. At dahil diyan, proud kaming lahat sa inyo,” Reyes said.
“Ang programang ito po ay bahagi ng social development plan sa pagitan ng Pasay LGU at ng SM kung saan magkatuwang ang dalawa sa pagbuo ng iba’t ibang social development programs sa kapakinabangan ng ating host community at mga residente ng Pasay City,” she added.
Reyes further highlighted that the success of the program lies on the collaboration not just between SM and its partners, but also with the scholars: “Ano mang proyekto ay hindi magiging successful, hindi ‘yan magtatagumpay, kung hindi buo ang commitment ng lahat ng mga kabahagi nito. Kaya ang panawagan namin sa inyo, guys, let us all work together for a better tomorrow. Pagtulungan po natin na maging matagumpay ang proyektong itong. Mula sa simula hanggang sa katapusan.”
Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano, through a video message, said, “Itong programang ito ay napakahalagang hakbang sa pag angat ng antas ng kabuhayan ng ating mga scholar, lalo na ngayon sa panahon ng pandemya. Dahil lumalaki ang demand sa technical-vocational skills at dumarami ang naghahanap ng mga praktikal na kakayanan.”
SM Prime SVP Atty. Fred Mison gave an insightful thought for the scholars, “Lahat ay nagsisimula sa isang pangarap. ‘Yan ang isang bagay na tiyak ay mayroon tayong lahat. Sa kahit anong larangan, magkakaroon lang ng saysay ang isang pangarap kung hahaluan natin ng sipag, dedikasyon, at panalangin.”
Moreover, SMFI AVP for Education Program Eleanor Lansang discussed about the benefits of being an SM scholar, while Don Bosco External Relations Officer Carlo Sigua informed the scholars about the school policy and class schedules.
A step closer to his dreams
Ryan Nofiez, one of the new tech-voc scholars, expressed his gratitude to SM, Pasay LGU, and their partners for this opportunity through a video message. Nofiez—the seventh child among the 13 siblings—lives inside a cemetery in Pasay. His father is a construction worker, while his mother is a cemetery caretaker. Set to take a course in Automotive, Nofiez sees this opportunity as his ticket to a more stable and comfortable life, where he’ll be capable of helping his family as well.
SM Foundation, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993. To date, SMFI has produced more than 7,600 college and tech-voc scholar-graduates nationwide.