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Education as a tool to progress

posted February 12, 2019 at 03:18 pm

Education is often seen as their ticket out of poverty. However, for those living in poverty, access to education is easier said than done. With limited resources, many of them go to school on an empty stomach, with incomplete school supplies. Some even skip going to school altogether on days when they have absolutely no money for their commute and meal.

Education as a tool to progress

However, for top-performing students from Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) partner schools, they get a little help to make their dreams of finishing their education come true.

Through EDC’s College Admission, Review, and Readiness (CAREERS) program, these students attend review sessions to prepare them for the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT), which will help them enter one of the top state universities in the country. Moreover, under the program, they receive financial assistance upon entry to UP or other partner local state universities and colleges.

Education as a tool to progress

Since 2010, the program has admitted a total of 85 students in 8 UP campuses nationwide and a total of 88 students in different local state colleges and universities. We have since produced 43 UP graduates, with one graduating magna cum laude in 2017 and another graduating cum laude in 2018 from UP Visayas.

Now, the CAREERS graduates are gainfully employed and are able for to give back to their families.

Through your help, we can address more needs of our current scholars and we can accommodate more deserving students under the CAREERS program.

Education as a tool to progress

Efren Temario

BS Fisheries, 2017

University of the Philippines Visayas (Miagao)

Kidapawan City, North Cotabato

Education as a tool to progressEfren Temario is a member of the Manobo Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. At an early age, he was already aware of how disadvantaged he was compared to his peers due to poverty. He often missed first days of the school year because his family did not have money to buy him the pencils and notebooks needed for school.

“I had a very difficult time when I was in high school. I often went to school wearing worn out slippers without any money. I even joined dance contests, so I can pay for my meals and school projects. I even became a working student when my family faced even more financial difficulties,” Efren shares.

Despite helping with his family’s finances while attending school, Efren was still able to finish as one of the top students in his graduating batch. After attending the CAREERS summer review, he was able to pass the UPCAT and was accepted into the BS Fisheries program at UP Visayas Miagao. Furthermore, through the CAREERS program, he successfully qualified for a DOST scholarship. The DOST scholarship provided Efren with further financial assistance during his stay in university on top of the stipend that he receives from EDC.

Since graduating from UP Visayas, Efren is now a Registered Fisheries Technologies, proudly ranking 7th in the 2017 Fisheries Technologist Board Exam. He is now working as a Science Research Assistant I in UP Visayas Miagao’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Clarence Gamez

BS Fisheries, 2016

University of the Philippines Visayas (Miagao)

Bago City, Negros Occidental

Prior to graduating from high school, all Clarence Gamez wanted to do after graduation is to move to Manila to work as a house help. With her father was employed as an irregular truck driver and her mother as a housewife, Clarence wanted to help ease the family’s financial burden. She thought that going to university would just add to her family’s burdens.

Education as a tool to progress

However, this changed when she was accepted into UP Visayas Miagao’s BS Fisheries program after participating in the CAREERS summer review.

After entering UP, Clarence’s dream of simply going to Manila to become a house help has changed. She wanted to use what she has learned in school to help her family. Just like Efren, Clarence is now a Registered Fisheries Technologist after passing the 2017 Fisheries Technologist Board Exam. She is employed at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region VI as an Coastal Extension Officer, allowing her to help make her family’s life more comfortable.

Jemwel Autor

BS Computer Science, 2018

University of the Philippines Visayas (Miagao)

Valencia, Negros Oriental

Education as a tool to progress Jemwel Autor is the son of a carpenter and a housekeeper, and he was determined to bring his family out of poverty ever since he was young. After successfully passing the UPCAT and becoming a CAREERS scholar, Jemwel decided to take up BS Computer Science to help him secure a stable and lucrative career in the future.

While in university, however, he found it ironic how a Computer Science major did not have his own laptop. Despite receiving financial assistance through the stipends he receives from his CAREERS scholarship, he found that this amount can cover his living expenses and school projects with some to spare. However, he struggled to complete his school requirements without a laptop. But a professor has lent him his old laptop, allowing him to fulfill these requirements.

According to him, he was able to overcome these challenges through the support of his family, his professors, his peers, and his CAREERS family. Jemwel graduated in 2018 and is now employed in Metro Manila.

Thea Faye Culaba

BS Management – Magna cum laude, 2017

University of the Philippines Visayas (Iloilo City)

Valencia, Negros Oriental

Education as a tool to progress“I wanted to be better.”

A daughter of a company driver and a homemaker, Thea often told herself these words while growing up in Valencia, Negros Oriental. She wanted to give her family a more comfortable life. Thea was an EDC scholar in high school. She has always excelled in school, graduating from Valencia National High School as its valedictorian.

“Growing up helping my parents graze our cow in Valencia, I used to see our town border as a hindrance to my dreams,” Thea shared. “But if I were born in a different town, EDC would not have found me.”  Before CAREERS, 

After passing the UPCAT, she shared that EDC has become like her second family, giving her unwavering support throughout her stay in UP. Through the financial support that she has received through CAREERS, she was able to fully focus on her education, allowing her to graduate from UP Visayas Iloilo City’s BS Management program, magna cum laude.

Now, Thea is part of EDC’s Southern Negros Geothermal Project (SNGP). She is thankful for the opportunities that have opened for her through the CAREERS program.

Glecerio Magbanua

BS Management – Cum laude, 2018

University of the Philippines Visayas (Iloilo City)

Bago City, Negros Occidental

Education as a tool to progressBorn to a father who is a farmer and a mother who is a housewife, Glecerio Magbanua – or Rio to his friends – grew up with the challenges posed by poverty. Growing up, he often skipped meals, going to school on an empty stomach. To save what he could have spent on transportation, he would walk across rice fields and sugar cane plantations just to get to school. He had experienced eating rice with just patis or cooking oil, just to avoid going to school on an empty stomach.

“I wanted to give up so many times, to stop studying and just surrender. But my parents told me that finishing my education is the most important,” Rio stated in his speech in the 2018 CAREERS graduation. “When I became an EDC scholar in high school, I no longer had to worry about my uniforms, and, slowly, I no longer worried about going to school. EDC motivated me to study well and to dream bigger.”

Rio used to think he was so disadvantaged compared to other people because he was poor, so he had to work harder than everyone else. It is this poverty that motivated him to succeed, allowing him to graduate cum laude with a BS Management degree from UP Visayas Iloilo City this 2018.

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