A HUNDRED and fifty SM Foundation scholars in Cagayan de Oro have gathered for their very first general assembly in the city last Sunday, September 23, at SM Downtown Premier.

The general assembly, according to Linda Atayde, SM Foundation executive director for education programs, is an annual event for all college and technical vocational (techvoc) scholars under SM Foundation to interact and get to know one another, and to meet up with their mentors and benefactors.

She also said that the event usually happens only in Manila.

“We have been holding general assemblies in Manila, in NCR. But because of the numbers, as we’re getting more college and tech-voc (technical-vocational) scholars, we decided to one in Cebu and another one in Cagayan de Oro,” Atayde said.

The gathering began with a morning mass in SM Downtown Premier’s Sky Park which followed by a brief pictorial of all SM scholars.

The scholars, then, moved to the mall’s cinema 2 for the program wherein the SM Foundation executive director for educational programs welcomed them and gave a brief history of the establishment of the SM Foundation and its scholarship program.

“As SM celebrates 60 years, SM Foundation’s scholarship program is also celebrating its anniversary. This is the 25th year of the program,” Atayde said during her welcome speech.

“The SM Foundation’s Scholarship Program was established by our very own Henry Sy Sr. precisely because he feels that this is a very potent weapon to alleviate under privilege situation,” she added.

According to Atayde, SM Foundation already has over 3,000 college scholars and over 2,000 technical-vocational (tech-voc) scholars nationwide at present.

“We are here because we decided that you, the tech-voc scholars and the college scholars, will also know one another. We hope that someday when you practice your careers when you graduate and practice your careers and then you bump into each other, you’ll know just by looking at the person, you know that, ‘Ah. Kani SM scholar,'” Atayde said.

“Our scholars are hard working and they work hard and study harder. Our scholars have visions for themselves, their families, their communities, and I hope with the country as well,” she added.

Testimonies and inspirational stories from fellow scholars and the alumni of the SM Foundation Scholarship Program were shared; such as their experiences of being SM Foundation’s scholars, stories of how the successful alumni of the scholarship program were able to sustain and survive the program, and where they are now.

Officials and employees under the management of SM also shared their experiences working for more than 10 years under SM.

Before ending the program, Atayde announced the opening of the college scholarship application.

The requirements for the said scholarship, according to Atayde, are: the applicant must come from a public high school, should have a grade average of 88 percent and up, and the total annual income of the family is at most P150,000.

After the program, the scholars watched the movie “Mission Impossible: Fall Out” for free.

Source: Sun Star