SCG, one of the leading business conglomerate in ASEAN, has been committed to helping achieve a sustainable future in the countries where it operates for more than 100 years since its establishment in 1913. Believing that education is the foundation of sustainable development, SCG launched the Sharing the Dream program, an educational assistance initiative for students across the ASEAN region. Over the past 11 years of running the program in the Philippines, SCG has helped more than 1,000 Filipino students achieve their dreams.
On the first year of the scholarship program, SCG granted scholarships to 100 students from Manila, Taguig, Batangas and Bulacan, where the company’s Philippine subsidiaries operate, in cooperation with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). Rising education costs have been prompting more students, in particular high school ones, to move to public from private schools, with enrolment in private schools dropping to 21 percent in 2005 from 62 percent in previous years based on data from the Philippine Business for Education. SCG hoped the Sharing the Dream initiative can give students the opportunity to continue their studies.
Every year, SCG marks the academic progress of its scholars with a recognition ceremony. It also conducts a yearly assessment of the scholarship program. To help more deserving students, the company increased the number of student scholars to 150 in 2012. This grew to 200 in 2014 and to 300 last year.
This year, SCG hopes to encourage more high school scholars to pursue a college degree and become better members of the community. This year’s theme, “Passion for Better,” encapsulates SCG’s commitment and invitation to students to strive for more and nurture a continuous thirst for improvement and learning.
For the first time, SCG has recently extended its scholarship to selected ten college students. Apart from the 300 high school students included in the Sharing the Dream Program, the college scholarship is another milestone for SCG as it continually aims to make quality education available for deserving students.
“At SCG, we are passionate about improving the quality of life in the communities where we operate. We pledge to remain committed to increasing our contribution to Filipinos, in particular students. We believe everyone deserves a bright future and that with perseverance, dedication and passion, everyone can take an active part in improving their lives and that of their families,” said SCG Philippines Country Director Phaskorn Buranawit.
SCG Sharing the Dream program goes beyond mere provision of scholarship grants. SCG hopes to produce not just academically outstanding students but individuals who can become future leaders. Toward this end, SCG conducts life skills workshops and trainings that complement the scholars’ academic responsibilities. SCG organizes a yearly seminar for scholars, with topics ranging from career orientation, financial literacy, leadership training to communication and personality development.
SCG employees actively take part in these workshops and trainings, helping organize the events and participating in hands-on activities.
Volunteers are also given the chance to witness the story of each scholar and help motivate them to move forward. For SCG employees, volunteer work has helped in adding value to their work. SCG Marketing Philippines, Inc. Sales Coordinator Manager Janalynne Jarillas, who is part of the scholarship screening committee, said being a volunteer enabled her to gain self-fulfilment.
According to Jarillas, being able to uplift the lives of students has helped make SCG volunteers become better persons. Moreover, SCG employees gained a deeper appreciation of the value of education and developed a sense of purpose by helping other people.
Driven by passion and dreams
SCG’s scholars are hardworking, motivated and passionate students who pursue education while working to help augment their families’ income. Some of these students work as babysitters, canteen waiters, cashiers, dishwashers and even scavengers. They hope to be future teachers, engineers and businessmen.
Many of the student scholars have gone on to pursue college degrees and landed jobs. They are now contributing to the welfare of their families and in their own way do their part in the country’s development.