Recently the 11th anniversary of A Better Chance Foundation passed by quietly without any fanfare while we were busy with our usual scholar and school activities at different schools in Metro Manila and nearby Bulacan Province. If you’ll take a quick look above at the box you’ll see the number of scholars we have at different grade levels and I’m pleased to report to you that for School Year 2012-2013 we have our largest number of scholars ever. Having this number of scholars is a great privilege and a big responsibility for a modestly sized foundation, such as ABC Foundation.
Fortunately we do receive donations and our donors are the real heroes in our story. Well, maybe it’s the scholars and their parents who are the heroes. No, everyone, donors, scholars, parents, teachers, administrators, siblings of scholars, all are heroes. We, A Better Chance Foundation, can do what we do, keep poor, smart kids in school because of everyone involved, we are a team, everyone is important and each contributes to the success of our scholarship program in their unique way.
We are grateful that, over the years, we have been able to create, build and watch this wonderful team evolve to where we are today, having our best year ever in number of scholars. My heart is full as I survey the scholarship landscape we now have.
There is some uncertainty on the Night High scene as the (DepEd) Department of Education implements new rules to add two additional years to secondary education. Up until this year elementary school was 6 years and high school was another 4 years. Our own Night High had 5 years because of the shorter classroom hours in a day, from around 3 pm to around 8 pm.
Different schools seem to be reacting in different ways to the changes. Most appear to be adding grades 7 and 8 before high school, then 4 years of high school, making a total of 12 years education before college. Our incoming scholars therefore are not first year Night High, straight from grade 6 public elementary, but are, with the DepEd changes, now grade 7, next year grade 8 and then high school. We have agreed with our four Night High campuses to take the incoming scholars directly into grade seven and are expecting each school to make an attempt to reduce Night High from 5 years to 4. Even doing that will make our scholarships now a total of 6 years instead of the previous 5.
We now have 12 college graduates who started out as Night High scholars and then went on to college. These young men and women are employed and engaged in a number of career fields. One of them is Ms. Ivy Sedo who, after Night High, got her own scholarship at the Meralco Foundation, studying Instrumentation Technology for 3 years and graduating October 2011. She was immediately employed by one of the companies she had OJT’d with during her school years.
Actually, she had two job offers from companies she did ‘on the job’ training with while in school. Ivy has progressed in her new work life, has been given more and more responsibility and lately was assigned to visit the San Miguel brewery in Davao City to present a plant maintenance proposal from her employer. It meant an airplane ride and that makes Ivy our first A Better Chance Foundation scholar to fly in a commercial aircraft.