November 22, Sunday, at around 3:00 am, when I couldn’t sleep, I took a walk along the streets of Sampaloc, Manila and came across an elderly man, very fragile in appearance, and too slow to walk. I got curious as to where he was going. I watched him for a while, and he got on a jeepney. To make my long story short, I was worried and curious about him; I just hope he was able to go where he was supposed to go. That incident brought me to a deep contemplation, a reminder of things that I used to think and dream about; of things that I think are noble and worth aiming for.
A few years back, I used to contemplate or daydream of doing some noble acts in the future, like putting up an institution for the homeless elderly, for people who live on the streets, those who need the basic necessities in life, like food, clothing and comfortable shelter, medicines and more. I sympathize more with elderly people because they are so fragile. Unfortunately they will have to spend the rest of their lives living in such misery. While these thoughts clouded my mind, I was focused on the subject of nobility. And suddenly I remembered A Better Chance Foundation, specifically Mr. Edwards, a person with passion for education who believes in uplifting deserving children who are constructively poor, from their present situation. He is a practical man and has genuine nobility.
I was pressed again on the thought of being noble. Nowadays, if you mention this kind of dream to another person, the one I narrated above, they would just shrug their shoulders. Not because it is nonsensical, but because most people dwell on practical matters, the reality that bites -things that are significant in everyday life. However, as we struggle with these thoughts of doing noble actions like putting others first before self and doing practical things or relevant matters for personal or family satisfaction, the issue has been resolved and put into a very harmonious perspective by the ABC foundation – scholarship for the poor. After all, who says that being noble means not being practical in life. Try to ask A Better Chance foundation for proof of evidence.
I was recently browsing Facebook when I saw pictures of Mr. Edwards’ and other benefactors’ first visit at Siena College Taytay. The album’s caption was “11 years”. These pictures were shared by one of my high school classmates, who also happened to be a beneficiary of ABC Foundation. The First thing I realized when I saw that pictures was, how fast time has gone by and that it seemed like only yesterday when I first met Mr. Lewis Edwards and Ms.Hidie Niedo and the the others that made up ABC foundation. 11 years – think about that.
For the entire eleven years, ABC has never stopped helping me. From high school until I graduated college. Mr. Lew has always personally extended his sincere generosity to me. Now that I am in the College of Law pursuing the goal of my life, the path I chose to take, of which objectives I lay down slowly and carefully, Mr. Edwards and Ms. Judith, his wife, has again extended support and assistance through the foundation by sponsoring majority of my needs in the College of Law.
Thank you, A better Chance Foundation, for helping me build not only goals but also my confidence. ABC Foundation has never tired of believing in me and my decisions, and until now in the College of Law, while I am enrolled in a Juris Doctor Program, they still show the same compassion they have shown me the first day I met them 11 years ago.
The true essence of ABC’s generosity is not as simple as helping students get their degrees or to graduate from college. They send a statement that seems to say to all of its scholars: “if you have a dream, hold on to it, persevere for it, decide well for which life you will choose and we are here to back you up. Trust in yourself, you can do it!” these are genuinely generous words. No price can equal this kind of help. Genuine generosity is one which instills in one’s heart the value of giving, of paying it forward, of being committed to a point of view or a noble belief no matter how many people discourage him.
It is important for a child to dream, but more important for a man to turn this dream into a concrete goal by having a very specific path to take. I am very fortunate to have A Better Chance foundation to back me up and my goals in life. I am thankful to Mr. Lewis A. Edwards, for all the opportunities and blessings and support he has given me. Without him and ABC I would never be who I am today. Together with all people that have helped me reach this stage of my life – I owe it all to them. Together with ABC foundation let us encircle our society in a network of charity.
Leonardo Dimatalo belonged to the 2nd batch of Night High Scholars at Siena College, Taytay, Rizal, and graduated in 2008. Though he qualified for an ABC College Scholarship after he graduated from Night High School, he chose to study Accounting at Adamson University as a working student. He graduated from Adamson University last March, 2014, and is now working at the Manila Pavillion while currently enrolled in the College of Law at University of the East, as an ABC Scholar. Leo is our first post-graduate scholar.