By: Lewis Edwards
The world’s largest consultancy firm by revenues is Accenture, based in Ireland, with 323,000 employees worldwide and 35,000 employees in the Philippines in 12 locations. And I am proud to tell you that five of our ABC Foundation college graduates work for Accenture!
The 5 employees I’m about to identify for you were our scholars in Night High School for five years and then 4 or 5 years of college. First, Certified Public Accountant Katherine Cajoles, Michelle Quijano, applied math graduate doing data analysis for health care clients in the US, followed by Computer Engineer Michael Lalongbilang, then Sunshine Bondal, with a BS Management Degree doing Customer Service and finally Joana Marie Rama, Banking and Finance major, now working as a Data Analyst.
We are very proud of these five outstanding scholar graduates, all working for the fine company, Accenture. They set a good example for our existing college scholars, 190 of them for school year 2015-2016.
A Better Chance Foundation was founded in 2001 and from the beginning we have had long term goals for the education of poor but smart young boys and girls. It took us a long time to produce our first Night High graduates and that came in the year 2007. Then it took us till 2011 to produce our first college graduates. So far, 14 years into our journey we have produced 894 Night High graduates and 130 college graduates. Many months ago I wrote about some of our scholars and here is an update on three of them:
Mariel Pigtain, grew up in Taytay, Rizal, her mother is a homemaker, her father a fish vendor, buying his stock at Laguna de Bay every morning. He has a regular route through the town of Taytay, usually selling his supply. When he was unable to sell all his fish he would give them to Mariel and her siblings with the instructions for them to sell the remaining fish to their contacts. Usually they did, when they could not, guess what their dinner was? Today, Mariel is in Brisbane, Australia, studying under a scholarship she arranged, her major: nursing. She was our Night High scholar, then our scholar at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) graduating ‘cum laude’ in Broadcast Communications.
Then there is Kristofer Delas Penas, Night High scholar from Siena College, Taytay, Rizal, and then our scholar at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman where he majored in Computer Science. Kristofer graduated ‘magna cum laude’, with such great potential the University granted him a full scholarship for a Master’s Degree, only requiring him to teach 6 hours a week, which he relished. Today he has written his thesis, it was posted last April and he will defend it in December. The title of his thesis: Combining Computer Science with Medical Science with the Goal to Eradicate the Malaria Carrying Mosquito from the Island of Palawan’ . Gloria and Dr. Carlos Reyes sponsored Kristofer throughout his Night High School and college days. Kristofer is seriously considering further studies for a PhD in computer science.
Ivy Sedo is another scholar of ours who was in our Night High Class of 2008 at Siena College, Taytay. She took a different route and got herself a scholarship at what was then the (MFI) Meralco Foundation Institute. She took the vocational course of Instrumentation Technology and graduated in 2011. On graduation she was recruited by many companies and went to work immediately. She was our first scholar to fly when she was sent to Davao City to work on the San Miguel brewery, doing annual maintenance and repair work under her supervision. Later she became our first scholar to travel abroad when her employer sent her to Hanoi for further training. And later still Ivy’s employer sent her to Germany and France for additional training. Ms. Ivy has been working now for 4 years and recently I saw a post she made on Facebook, she was in an airplane with her parents and at Disney Land, Hong Kong with them. Her treat for mom and dad.
We also have college scholars who have majored in Marine Engineering, with hopes of sailing the Seven Seas of the world while earning enough to support not just themselves, but their families. Franz Mazo, our Night High Scholar from Siena College, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, went on to become one of our college scholars who graduated from the course in 2015. Two other college scholars, Rani Manalastas and Wilbert Capitle, both from Siena College, Quezon City, and sponsored throughout their Night High School and College by Springboard Foundation and Robert Bosch, Inc., have sailed to countries in Asia and Europe aboard cargo ships as part of their maritime academy training.
These are a few of our scholar graduates, I hope you’ve enjoyed their success stories. They are an inspiration not only to us but to other scholars and their parents. And, of course, to their sponsors who rejoice in their accomplishments.