“In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me.”
By the grace of God and our Blessed Mother, Santuario de San Antonio Parish has been blessed by the inception and continuation of its JPIC Scholarship Ministry, allowing its parishioners and churchgoers to be instruments of God’s peace and making a difference in the lives of young men and women who have applied and been accepted in the Program. In turn, those of us who have committed to work in this particular area of our Lord’s vineyard have been doubly blessed as our lives continue to be enriched by this Ministry.
For almost two decades, the Santuario de San Antonio Scholarship Ministry has provided Tuition (full or partial), Food and Transportation allowances, and also implemented a Spiritual Moral Values Formation Program during the 1st and 3rd Saturday Monthly Meetings. One of our favorite activities during our 1st Saturday Monthly meetings is breaking up into Cluster Groups. Our scholars’ spirits are lifted as they are given their voice. This interaction helps us to form bonds and personal relationships with our scholars, and establish a more personal connection with them. They are not just faces and names, but real people, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In many cases, we see this even five or ten years after, as our scholars return, give their testimonials — confirming that affirmation produces good results — and stand up to be role models to our current batches. Their dreams and goals have become a reality for them, and they have been able to uplift their lives and that of their families. This is Empowerment by the Holy Spirit!
Testimonial – Jeffrey San Miguel
WHERE DREAMS ARE WITHIN REACH
I am Jeffrey San Miguel from Laguna, youngest to my four brothers and two sisters. My father died when I was 6 years old, so my Super Mother with the help of my siblings had to survive. Back then, our source of income were my mother’s small Carinderia, and sometimes she accepts sewing orders like pillow cases, set covers and dresses to earn extra income. My brothers drive a tricycle after school.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be an Engineer. So when I entered College my mother had to borrow money for my 1st year tuition fee.I planned to work while studying and to apply for a scholarship. I was able to pass the ROTC officer scholarship but unfortunately on my second year, the ROTC was abolished; thus, my scholarship was terminated. My siblings wanted to help me but that time they couldn’t and because we don’t have enough money, I had to stop.
In about four years, I worked on different jobs – factory, super market, construction and even as a tricycle driver, but these were still not enough to continue my studies. God is good because one of my brothers assured me that if I would be accepted in Don Bosco-Makati, he would shoulder my monthly fee for my board and lodging. When I was reporting in Don Bosco Makati for the screening,my brother would lend his tricycle in order for me to earn and use it as my transportation from Laguna going to Don Bosco-Makati. I was able to pass the entrance exam and screening in Don Bosco. Then Brod. Elmer Rodriguez recommended me to Santuario de San Antonio Parish – JPIC Scholarship Program.
I was interviewed by Mrs. Rose Lopez and I remembered when she asked me, HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AFTER FIVE OR TEN YEARS FROM NOW? Then, I replied that I will progress Ma’am. They granted me the scholarship and I became a JPIC Scholar. Through the scholarship, I was privileged to have transportation and food allowances every week and tuition fee, which truly is a very big help for me and for my mother. Even we just meet on the 1st Saturdays; there were so many things I’ve learned from SSAP JPIC Scholarship Program like how to be a Kristyanong Mamamayan, the mentoring of the Committee members during Cluster groupings, participating in Parish Involvement and other useful activities of the Parish.
The SSAP JPIC Scholarship did not stop in helping us even after we graduated. They helped us to look for On-the-Job Training and possible employment. I was fortunate also that they shouldered the cost of my Safety of Life Above the Sea (SOLAS) training in order to have a Seaman’s book. I would like to say a million THANK YOUs to Santuario de San Antonio Parish – JPIC Scholarship Program, to all the generous sponsors and to the staff for BELIEVING and for NOT GIVING UP on us.
Now, my mother is very proud of me but I should say that I am much proud for having her. I have my own house and lot, I helped my mother reconstruct our old house and with God’s grace my niece graduated Commerce last March, 2012 at FEU and is currently employed. Before, I worked in KGJS Fleet Makati in a Gear bulk vessel going around the world. Then, last March I applied and was hired by Magsaysay Shipping. Now,I am on board in a Gear bulk vessel.
Thank you very much Lord for all that I have now. And to all the scholars, ALWAYS PRAY TO GOD and DON’T EVER GIVE UP in your dreams. May God bless you all always.
Testimonial – Maila Nosora
“Every new day is another chance to change something in your life. Every new day is a chance to feel blessed for what you have”
These challenges brought me to what I am today with the moral support of my family, the financial assistance offered by the Santuario de San Antonio Parish JPIC Scholarship Program family, the academic formation of Monark Foundation Inc., the training conducted by Prestige Cars BMW Makati and Foton Motor Philippines and the grace of God Almighty.
After I graduated from high school at Trece Martirez City National High School in Cavite, I was quite confused whether to continue my college studies or not. I knew that my parents could not afford to give me a college education. I went around trying to look for a scholarship until one day, my father, who is a casual employee in an elementary school in Mandaluyong told me about SSAP JPIC Scholarship Program, which he heard about from his co-employee.
Reading the Program’s mission of “providing technical or vocational skills, spiritual and moral values formation, enabling to become economically and self-reliant to work productive and live with dignity in our society” gave me hope and direction that led me to the world of the Automotive Industry.
With God’s grace and self-confidence, I passed the interview conducted by the Scholarship Committee. Then, I started searching for a school and decided to choose Monark Foundation Inc. (formerly Monark Foundation Technical Institute) since I believed that Monark could provide me the possibility to grow and develop.
Fortunately, I passed Monark’s screening test. The second day of orientation was difficult. We were asked to remove and install tires. I never expected to undergo this physical experience. My body ached terribly and I felt sick. The next day, I admit that quitting school crossed my mind. However, the thought of this being an “astig” (popular) career path and “kakaiba” (different) challenged me more.
While undergoing in-school training, I became a model to my classmates since I was inspired by the Parish Involvement Activity (PIA) in Santuario de San Antonio Parish. I ran for office, was elected and served as Vice-President of the Student Council that school year. It was hard for me to study and conduct major school activities and events at the same time but I went on.
The very important part of our formation came. It was the on-the- job training program. I was one of the scholars chosen to report to Prestige Cars BMW in Makati. Luckily, I passed the interview conducted by the Manager and officially I became a trainee. I was assigned to the Service Department as Administrative Assistant. Here, I applied the rule of “learning by doing.” I did my best in the company for 13 months since this would be reflected on our In-plant Training subject. Our training contract ended three months before graduation and I was offered a job by the company. However, I did not accept the offer. Neither did I want to stay in school waiting to train for another three months under a possible company since I was very excited to work immediately to be able to help my family.
I decided to inquire about a newly-opened company, Foton Motor Philippines, a commercial China trucks distributor. Even though it was not an industry partner of Monark Foundation Inc., I accepted the offer to train here and with God’s grace, and with my perseverance and determination, Foton Motor Philippines recognized my capability and I was absorbed by the company even before graduation. Currently, I am the Customer Relations Officer.
On our graduation day, I was surprised and teary-eyed to receive two recognitions; the “Outstanding In-plant Trainee” and the “Leadership Awardee” of our batch, which I treasure and apply up to this date.
A lot of inspiration I have received from my family, from the SSAP JPIC Scholarship Program Committee and from benefactors for their selfless devotion to this Program, from Mr. Jan B. Banson, the former Monark Equipment President, who took some time to share with us his thoughts about his life’s experiences and lessons, and from our beloved instructors, who did their best to impart the knowledge and skills we need.
The mission of SSAP JPIC Scholarship Program came true. I have a stable job and a promising future. Everywhere I go, I feel proud to be a scholar of this Program, in this vocation I have chosen, I do not mind what others say about comparing degree holders to what I have studied. What is important is that I have a positive sight with which to embrace God’s blessings and appreciate all of them.
Maila Nosora (SY 2007-2008)