200 SM scholars, including six students from Baguio City were officially awarded the SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) scholarship grants for the School Year 2020-2021 through a virtual gathering last August 15, 2020. This brings the total number of current SM Scholars to 1,300 nationwide.
One of the new SM scholars from Baguio and an accountancy student at Saint Louis University Lea Esquejo says, “Thank you so much to SM Foundation for this opportunity. Thank you for giving a chance to all aspiring students who want to seek higher education like me. I am blessed to have this scholarship.” Adrian Clark who is also an accountancy student at SLU Baguio shares the same sentiment and wishes for more power to SMFI.
“To the SM Foundation, thank you for this opportunity. I hope that one day I will also be able to help other students just as you have helped me” said Jethro Estangki, a Computer Science student at the University of the Cordilleras. In addition, Alastair Zeph De Guzman, another C.S. scholar at the same university says that he is thankful for the chance and opportunity.
Elementary Education student from UC, Dustine May Garcia said, “Thank you so much SM Foundation for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this family. Thank you for being a significant part of my life, and may God bless you to have more strength and power so you may continue to bless others,” while Charles Pineda, an accountancy student of UC has a similar viewpoint and is grateful to be part of the SM family since he sees the opportunity as both an honor and a privilege.
Established in 1993, the SM Foundation Scholarship Program has already produced almost 5,500 college and tech-voc scholar-graduates – enabling them to uplift the lives of their families out of poverty. SM Foundation’s Scholarship Program aims to contribute in eradicating the intergenerational cycle of poverty in the country by giving scholarship grants to underprivileged but deserving students.
The program covers the following field of studies for scholars to choose from: Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Computer, and Electronics), Education (Elementary and Secondary); Accountancy, and Financial Management. Along with the full tuition and miscellaneous fees, SM scholars are also given monthly allowances (8 months per year), part time job opportunities during semestral/ Christmas break, exclusive job offer with the SM Group upon graduation, and SM scholar enrichment activities.
During the virtual gathering for the SM Scholars of SY 2020-2021, Linda Atayde shared that the program is built on the belief of the SM Group late founder, Henry Sy Sr., that education is the greatest equalizer and that if he could help send one child to school, that child can then help his or her siblings finish schooling and together, they can help uplift their family out of poverty.
The program also enables SM to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4 by ensuring that inclusive and equitable opportunities for quality education are opened for the youth, especially those living in grassroots communities.