A strong believer of the famous adage “The youth is the hope of the nation,” SCG continues to invest in Filipino students through its Sharing the Dream program. Knowing that the children of today will grow up to become the leaders of tomorrow, SCG through its scholarship program hopes to help the youth obtain a well-rounded education that will shape them into the competent and responsible professionals and citizens the country needs.

Since its launch in the Philippines in 2008, the Sharing the Dream program has been granting educational assistance to more than 2,000 high school students from Batangas, Bulacan, Taguig and Tondo as a way of giving back to the communities where SCG operates. In 2018, SCG Sharing the Dream extended its scholarship grants to college students, both current and incoming alike, to encourage more students to pursue a college degree. In partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), SCG screened applications and carefully selected 10 awardees who demonstrated academic distinction and the makings of an excellent leader.

This year, a new batch of college will start receiving Php25,000 worth of educational assistance yearly until they finish their chosen degree.

More than a scholarship

19-year-old Luzviminda Leaño from Bulacan considers herself a fighter. Having lost both of her parents at an early age and faced with financial hurdles, she was uncertain if she could finish high school, let alone attend college. “We were at such a low point that we were seeking financial help from our relatives, so completing high school was a major accomplishment for me,” recalls Luzviminda, who is now in the care of her retired grandmother.

Aware that she couldn’t rely on her grandmother’s measly pension, Luzviminda applied for an SCG college scholarship in the hopes of achieving her dream of becoming a lawyer someday. She is among the Sharing the Dream 2019 scholars who are given a chance at a better life and is now a freshman taking up BS Legal Management at the Bulacan State University.

Now that she’s under the program, Luzviminda feels that a huge burden has been taken off her grandmother’s shoulders. “She is always prioritizing my sister’s and my needs, so she has nothing left for her own necessities. Because of this scholarship, she can now focus on her health and pay for her medications,” she says.

“My determination to succeed is my strength,” shares Luzviminda, crediting this perseverance for overcoming everything she has been through. She admits, however, that her confidence and manner of speaking need work. “I’m quite shy at times, so I tend to come across as rude and insensitive when I try to communicate with people,” she explains.

SCG Sharing the Dream not only aims to produce academically accomplished students but also intends to mold them into successful professionals armed with the soft skills they need to become capable leaders for the future. Toward this end, SCG organizes annual workshops and trainings for its scholars on different topics ranging from leadership and financial literacy to communication skills and personality development. With these life skills workshops available to Luzviminda, nothing can stop her from fulfilling her dreams and making her parents proud.

Looking forward to a better future

Just like Luzviminda, Dece Chris Ruiz realizes that she should work on her confidence—something that she is going to need in her long journey to becoming a doctor. Dece, one of three children of a construction worker and a counter checker from Taguig, knows that achieving this dream will require blood, sweat and tears.

Despite her family’s financial hardships, 18-year-old Dece is determined to pursue her dream. With her faith in God and determination, Dece studied well and applied for a scholarship with SCG. Now in her first year at the Taguig City University as a BS Biology student and an SCG Sharing the Dream awardee, she plans to work while in college and save up to support her studies.

“The cost of studying medicine is no joke, but with the help of SCG, my parents don’t have to worry about that anymore. I will be able to build a good future and hopefully get my family out of poverty,” says Dece. This scholarship has given her the opportunity to build up her confidence and self-esteem with its various skills development programs, which she believes will increase her chances at succeeding in her career.

Dece knows she has to persevere to reach her goals. “My strength is my optimism. I choose to see the positive no matter the challenge I’m confronted with, and I stand back up whenever life knocks me down,” she says, remembering the many times life has been tough on her and her family.

For Dece, Luzviminda and hundreds of other SCG scholars, Sharing the Dream has given them not only a helping hand through college but also a stepping stone leading to the life that they have always dreamed of for themselves and their families.

Believing in the value of the individual in building a bright future for our nation, SCG Sharing the Dream selects and helps scholars who possess the intelligence, resilience and potential to lead the nation to progress. With the likes of Dece and Luzviminda as pillars of the future, the world is going to be a better place for the generations to come.