Being a consistent honor student does not always guarantee scholarship grants in college.
Laila Isabel Gelera, a scholar of the Energy Development Corporation from Valencia National High School since 2012, had difficulty enrolling in college without adding financial burden to her family, especially to her father who is their sole breadwinner.
Despite graduating from high school as class valedictorian, she did not get offers for a scholarship grant. Being the youngest of four children, her father requested that she take a year off from school to enable her eldest brother to graduate first, an EDC press release said.
“I told my father that I will apply for scholarships so I can enroll in college on time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a scholarship grant from any institution on my first year, so I applied as a student assistant while studying in Silliman University to help pay for my college expenses,” she said.
Determined to finish college and pursue her passion despite feeling like all hope is gone, Laila patiently waited until she got the news she had been waiting for.
“Come sophomore year, my family and I finally received the life-changing news that I was accepted as an EDC CAREERS scholar,” she said.
CAREERS or College Admission, Review, and Readiness Program is EDC’s main corporate social responsibility program that primes top graduating but financially challenged high school students from its geothermal sites in Leyte, Negros Island, Bicol, and North Cotabato and bridges them to a college education either in the University of the Philippines or in similarly prestigious local universities.
Despite passing the University of the Philippines Admission Test (UPCAT), Laila decided to continue her college education in Silliman University so she can still be close to her family.
Through CAREERS, Laila was able to pursue her dream of finishing college closer to home.
With her hard work and determination, she graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and was awarded as Outstanding Student Teacher of the year.
“If that blessing of being an EDC CAREERS scholar never came, maybe my story would have been different,” she said.*
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