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International School Manila’s Filipino Scholarship Program: 51 Years and Counting!
By Rose Sagun 01-Oct-12
“Start them young—on the road to world peace and friendship.” Those were the first words from a 1961 Manila Chronicle article that announced the establishment of the Filipino Scholarship Program at what was then the American School Manila. There have been many changes since then, including the metamorphosis into International School Manila (ISM), but the legacy of 150 Filipino Scholars who have graduated from ISM and the future promise to the next generation of young people make our school community proud. The scholarships themselves are needs-based, and range from full-ride scholarships to partial grants; the scholars are selected by a committee comprising school administrators and counselors, on the basis of academic merit, extra-curricular promise, and financial circumstances, with extra consideration given to those who come from especially underprivileged backgrounds. In recent years we have had Scholars go on to the finest universities in the USA, with one graduating summa cum laude from Harvard! Three scholars from the Class of 2012 received 100 percent bursaries from MIT, Occidental College, and New York University in Abu Dhabi. One of the new generation of Scholars is Romnick Blanco. The seventh of nine children, Romnick comes from a family of subsistence farmers and is the only child continuing his education. His scholarship is something to celebrate. Education for Romnick meant a two-hour walk each way to get to the local school. A year ago, he heard of a local non-governmental organization, GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, where he could learn to read and write in English on weekends. This meant another four hours of walking, over rugged terrain and wading across a river. Romnick never missed a class at the GreenEarth Learning Center. He wants to become an English teacher one day, so as to give back to the next generation in his community. Joining Romnick at ISM this year are fellow Filipino Scholars Jessica Cuadro, Isaiah Filio, Joshua Miller, and Sarena Nesperos; all five of are beginning life as Grade 8 students at ISM. The Filipino Scholarship Program has come a long way. It has nurtured some of the best minds of the country, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon!
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09/04/2016 - Tricia Guison-Bautista
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