Life may have thrown them by the wayside but it has not erased their dream to re-create their lives. Needy and impoverished students but with a thirst for knowledge and success want to create happy endings. They want to live a purposeful life: to learn a skill or finish a college degree, to provide a better future for their parents and siblings, to own a decent house, to put food on the table, to provide medicine and healthcare to an ailing family member, to get a job, to earn.
Don Bosco Makati SY 2000-2001
The eldest among five children of a carpenter Jojit graduated with a degree in Electrical Technology at Don Bosco Makati in 2001. A diligent student, he garnered awards in “Technical Excellence,” “Attendance” and “Conduct.” His lack of financial means to go to a review center for the Philippine Regulatory Commission Board Examination did not deter him from aspiring to be a licensed Registered Master Electrician. He borrowed books/reviewers from his fellow workers and studied late in the night after work. He passed the PRC licensure examination – a feather in his cap!
After several jobs which gave him the needed experience, he worked as a ship electrician. It was his faith in God which gave him comfort and strength to battle loneliness, seasickness and sleepless nights and to brave the sometimes high and stormy seas. He proudly wears his Magsaysay MOL Marine Inc. uniform as an Electrical Engineer, Junior Officer of M.V. Dalia.
Don Bosco Makati SY 2002-2003
He was four years old that time but vividly etched in Ryan’s mind was the terrifying nightly brawls and gang riots in their Reclamation Area neighborhood in Pasay. While his mother was out selling fish, his father got into an argument with a bystander outside their shanty and after a fierce scuffle, lay bloodied and lifeless. The widowed mother brought her four children to live with her parents in the province and worked as a househelper in Manila. With her income two of her children finished high school and found employment in Manila, sending money in the province for Ryan’s high school tuition. Upon his graduation a cousin mentioned about the SSAP Scholarship Program. Since he could not afford to have a college education learning a skill was his ticket to better employment opportunities. He was an Automotive Mechanic graduate of Don Bosco Makati in 2003.
Ryan has gone a long way, working at Chevrolet Alabang under Juno Cars for ten years now, and is a Spare Parts Supervisor. He had a house built for his mother in the province and is happily settled with his wife and two children in his dreamhouse in Cavite.
National Teachers College SY 2005-2008
BS Secondary Education Major in English
The second to the youngest among 11 children of a welder, Sherly hails from Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. She considers herself blessed for she was granted by the SSAP Scholarship Program a four-year college scholarship, allowing her to finish her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Major in English at National Teachers College, Manila in 2008. She passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers in 2009.
Life as a student in Manila wasn’t easy. She had to augment her living expenses and other school miscellaneous fees not covered by the SSAP tuition allotment by washing the clothes of her dormitory mates and working as a Jollibee Service Crew.
She worked for five years at the Divine Word College of Calapan in Mindoro. In 2013, she taught in a public school at Aurora National High School in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. From Teacher 1, Sherly has been promoted to Teacher 3 as a Senior High School teacher in Naujan Municipal High School, one of the biggest schools in Naujan. Currently working on her thesis requirement, Sherly is a candidate for a Masteral degree.
MTC Academy SY 2006-2007
A burn patient who was in and out of the hospital for treatment and operation, May Tapales, the daughter of a tailor, was a first honor high school graduate. She was referred by Fr. David Turnball of Makati Medical Center to SSAP to apply as a scholar.
She finished her Medical Transcription course at the MTC Academy in 2007 and worked as a Media Transcriptionist for one year in a Makati office. She was affiliated with the BPO Industry for seven years where she received recognition as “Top Agent of the Year,” 100% Attendance of the Year, etc. Part of her earnings she invested in a market stall to help her parents start a business. She also set up a pastries shop.
Currently, May is a part-time Technical Support in a BPO Industry in Taguig and a Freelance Media Transcriptionist at SFERAS Studios, a US home-based online transcription office. She is now married with two children.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Colleges SY 2006-2007
Her youngest sister was four months old when her mother died, and Susan, who was twelve years old at the time helped her father take care of her five other siblings. Living in Camotes Island, Cebu, her father would climb coconut trees to harvest the sap, earning P 100 a day. Her father made it clear that he could only afford a high school education for his children.
After her graduation Susan went to Manila and was hired as a laundry woman by the daughter of SSAP Scholarship Program Chairperson Menchu Bautista. Impressed with her work, Mrs. Bautista asked if she would be interested to study Caregiving through the SSAP Scholarship Program. After passing the interview, she took the exam at Our Lady of Guadalupe Colleges in Mandaluyong, earning her degree in 2007,
Susan was the caregiver of Cesar Bautista, Mrs. Menchu Bautista’s late husband, Mrs. Carmen del Rosario, Mrs. Pacita Jacinto, Dr. Emilio Abello, Jr., among others. She is currently back with Mrs. Bautista as caregiver. With her earnings, Susan was able to send her younger siblings to school and build a concrete house for her father.
Careworld Philippines, Inc. Cavite SY 2010-2011
A former household helper of Mrs. Menchu Bautista, Irene Marquez, a high school graduate, fell in love, had two children, only to realize that her marriage was in shambles. She found support through Mrs. Bautista and Mrs. Nena Villanueva who helped her rebuild her life. Despite being overage at thirty years old, Irene was allowed to apply for scholarship. In 2011, she received her diploma as a certified Caregiver from Careworld Philippines Inc., Cavite.
She was hired by parishioner Mrs. Amelia Guevara as her husband’s caregiver until his demise in 2013. A whole new world has opened up for Irene. Now Mrs. Guevara’s caregiver, Irene has gone on numerous foreign trips with her employer, witnessing the canonization of two Popes, Pope John Paul II and Pope John Paul XXIII and Blessed Mother Theresa in Rome. Together with Mrs. Guevara she had been to San Giovani, Cuomo, Assisi, Venice, Milan, New York, California,… the list goes on. She was lost and helpless but has found a renewed self through her calling. She is proud to see her two children grow up properly and secure a good education.
Mara Camille Arroyo
Polytechnic University of the Philippines SY 2011-2014
Mara Camille Arroyo, 22 years old, is the daughter of the SSAP Security Guard. She finished BS Accountancy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila in May 2014. Five months later, she hurdled and passed the CPA Board Examination. Mara worked as an Auditor for over a year and is currently an Accountant in Sonak Corporation. Mara is most grateful to parishioner Deborah Pe Sy who was her sponsor for three years, allowing her to fulfil her dream of becoming an accountant.
System Plus Computer College SY 2013-2014
BS Information Technology
At age six Brian was striken with poliomyelitis. Though wheel-chair bound, he did not regard his disability as a setback to making something out of himself. His fellow PWD (Person with Disability) dormitory mates Dominga Navarro and Eula Sabado informed him about the SSAP Scholarship Program of which they were scholar graduates. Brian was accepted at Systems Plus Computer College, finishing his Information Technology course in 2014. He is now an Encoder at the Pasig City Hall.
Low self-esteem, inability to articulate thoughts, lack of English proficiency and shyness evident in the applicant’s initial interviews have been replaced with confidence, knowledge and expertise, determination, ambition, good work ethics, commitment, a positive mind set and attitude and a strong sense of duty, of responsibility, and gratitude. Let us all join hands and build communities to uplift people’s lives. Together let’s create happy endings.