Aboitiz Foundation welcomes future engineers and business managers as college scholars

Aboitiz Foundation officially welcomed the 2021 Aboitiz College Scholars through a virtual MOA signing ceremony last July 28.

The COVID-19 pandemic might have caused a lot of struggles, but it inspired the new batch of Aboitiz College scholars to soar high and qualify for the Program.

Last July 28, Aboitiz Foundation officially welcomed ten new college scholars who will be taking engineering and business courses in prestigious universities such as University of the Philippines, Ateneo De Manila, and University of Santo Tomas for the school year 2021-2022. Before earning the badge of being an Aboitiz scholar, they  underwent a strict screening process, from checking their stellar credentials to acing the interviews.

Memorandum of Agreement signing of the 2021 Aboitiz College Scholars together with their parents and guardians and Maribeth L. Marasigan, President and COO of Aboitiz Foundation (top row, second from the left)

“From this day, as you carry the badge of being an Aboitiz scholar, you are choosing to make a positive commitment and change in your life. We hope that the Aboitiz core values of integrity, teamwork, innovation, and responsibility will serve as your compass to succeed in your studies. In the next 4-5 years, we will be here to help and guide you. What sets the Aboitiz College Scholarship Program apart is that it goes beyond paying your tuition fee and sending your allowance. The program creates relationships and builds a community of scholars. Expect that  Aboitiz Foundation will engage you, teach you, and form you to become the best leaders of tomorrow.” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, President and COO of Aboitiz Foundation, during the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing.

Each of the scholars has a story to tell, one that shows resilience and grit in order to have a better future in their education.

Kenny Arada, one of the new scholars, considers the Aboitiz College Scholarship to be a well-deserved blessing after all the struggles his family faced during the pandemic. They are a family of seven, and the pandemic severely affected their livelihood. Arada’s father, a security guard, is the sole breadwinner.

To help his family financially during the lockdowns, Arada worked as a tutor to a junior high school student. In exchange, he received one hundred pesos for every module that they finished. As they slowly recover from the pandemic, and to augment the loss of livelihood of some family members, Arada’s family sells beauty products such as soap and perfume online.

Kenny Arada with his father during his Grade 10 Moving Up ceremony in 2019

Arada was also supported by the Aboitiz Foundation these past six years as a high school scholar.  As a college scholar, he will be taking up a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in University of the Philippines–Diliman.

Aside from being academically excellent, Aboitiz scholars also find ways to help others in their capacity.

Being a math wiz and having won several local and international math competitions, new Aboitiz scholar Lance Ezrac Matthew Calamiong uses his gift to help fellow students excel in math by being a volunteer tutor.

(Third from right) Lance Ezrac Matthew Calamiong together with his team from Manila Science High School after winning Bronze in the Southeast Asian Mathematical Olympiad (SEAMO) in 2019

“I have always been open to tutoring my schoolmates if they ever need help with their math lessons. I also tutored students from other schools with my former math teacher. He organized a tutor session with students from his former school in Sta. Ana, Manila,” Calamiong said.

Like many others, his family’s source of income was also affected by the pandemic. To help his family, he did freelance work such as transcription writing, essay writing, and math tutoring to earn some pocket money.

The Aboitiz College Scholarship Program brings the youth closer to their dreams and aspirations to become future professionals.

“By getting accepted into the Aboitiz College Scholarship Program, my dreams only became more firm. I am a very ambitious person and being an Aboitiz Scholar is a huge step in the right direction. Since mechanical engineers work with machinery, I expect to learn numerous things from the experts in the Aboitiz Group,” Calamiong added.

Calamiong will be taking Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

The Aboitiz College Scholarship Program supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. The scholarship covers full tuition, monthly allowance, gadget incentive, Latin honor incentive, and free learning sessions. Since its inception in 2000, the program has supported 975 scholars nationwide.

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About Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.

Today, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Aboitiz Business Units, develops and implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or CSR 2.0 projects that aim to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. These CSR 2.0 projects are aligned to the Group’s core competencies, are scalable nationwide, and create a deeper social impact on the communities and beneficiaries it serves.

[Article submitted by Jowelle Ann Cruz, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.]