“The following article is an account of one of our club’s scholars who is now gainfully employed and has also become a model to her students where she is now teaching.”
In big cities like Metro Manila, education financing is one of the known center stage “struggles” faced by families from minority backgrounds. Over the past decade, there has long been a need to increase government spending on education—an important strategy to guarantee the long-term development of the country. Anyone who has attended college would aver that it is to one’s own advantage to make the best of a college degree—to become productive members of the workforce, and ultimately, become paramount instruments for social change and development.
Our rented home for more than twenty years would bear witness to how our family of four kept our heads above water to “invest” in education—yes, education is an investment! My mother is an employee in a private company from which our family gets the meager income that supports our needs. To make ends meet, my father ventured into food businesses but went bust due to financial predicaments. Although hardworking, my parents could hardly meet my mounting education needs—much like it was throughout my primary and secondary years despite having an academic scholarship in a private school.
College life comes with its share of challenges. Still, I could not get away with tuition and miscellaneous fees even if I was attending a state university where tuition is partially subsidized (which is now free under the Free Higher Education Law). For some, these may not be a concern; alas, not for me who eke out every cent of my allowance just enough to cover the costs of my academic requirements on top of having to commute to school every day. These were seemingly uncertain times, especially so with two college students in our family at the time.
Following government reforms, it is equally important to zero in on the efforts that non-government organizations put in place to bridge the gaps in our education sector. I have long been acutely aware of Rotary Club of Pasay Millenium, and it was actually in my first year of college that I was identified to be one among the many beneficiaries of its Scholarship Program. With the monthly stipend I received, I was able to save enough to pay for my student loan and other school expenses. At this point, I finally came to terms with the idea that I had every reason not to slack off from schooling.
I worked my way up to graduating from college six years ago. And it is an understatement to say that it was a pleasure to be part of the program because it did more than just solicitously provide the so-called “financial assistance” I once needed. I have taken a new meaning in this experience as much as now that I am part of an agency that capitalizes on the future of the youth by offering financial assistance to students in a bid to equitize access to tertiary education.
Years have passed, but still, gratitude above all is what I have for Rotary Club of Pasay Millenium. It has truly lived to its vision and is still on the rise in bringing back students—teeming with passion and perseverance—in the fold of education. It comes as no surprise that in this time of pandemic, Rotary continues to improve its efforts to assure the youth of the vital role of education through its scholarship initiatives—a message that conveys how learning is not meant to be time-bound, so are the efforts to continuously support our underprivileged yet excellent students in however ways possible.
Degree Program: Bachelor in Secondary Education major in Math, minor in Physics
University of the Philippines
CP Blyth Fielding