By Carmina Vale Tarangco and Esjay Zausa
“I will finish my studies.”
This is the promise of Alexa Jayco Dalisay, 22, to her departed father.
Alexa lost her father in 2017 when she was still a grade 6 pupil. They migrated from Sorsogon to Baguio City due to a dispute on land among her relatives. Instead of claiming her share, they chose to stay out of the feud. But this was not the only feud they had to endure. Her dad had another family. Thus, they also struggled for the time they can spend with her father. They also struggled financially because her father cannot fully provide what they needed. Sadly enough, things got worse when her father died.
From then on, her mom had to do all the works including looking for ways to sustain their financial needs. Currently, she works as a clerk at a massage parlor.
Seeing her mother’s struggle for them including her sister, she set her goal to finish her study and graduate. Whatever it takes, she said.
True to this, she graduated class valedictorian of their high school batch. This allowed her to avail a one school year full scholarship for tertiary education at the University of Baguio (UB).
Her scholarship, however, was not enough to get her through college. She realized that her mother’s income would not be sufficient to support their daily expenses. To pay 20,000 pesos every semester, she needed to do something.
As a freshman, she applied for Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) every summer break. Here, she would receive 10,000- 12,000 pesos. This amount was directly deposited at the registrar of UB. Still not enough to cover her whole tuition fee for the year, she applied for the Tulong Dunong program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Here she would receive three thousand pesos every semester. In order to fill the remaining amount, she made sure to keep her good academic record. She became a consistent Dean’s lister during her entire college years.
Every semester, she would make sure to get into a scholarship program in order to support her studies. In the entirety of her college years, she has enjoyed three scholarship grants from SPES, CHED, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Now, at the age of 22, she will be graduating in June with the degree Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. And she is proud to say that she will be the very first to graduate among her half-brothers and half-sisters, both in her mother’s and father’s side.
Alexa’s story is an example of how the government supports its constituents through scholarship grants to students seeking for and in need of financial help.
A scholarship is a financial aid given to deserving students for them to be able to continue their education. Various types of scholarship providers (i.e. government, corporations, schools), both local and abroad, offer scholarships that can help one pay his or her tuition fees. It is awarded based on various criteria which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid.
All students are welcome to apply for any scholarship grants from different scholarship providers. On the other hand, not everyone is granted the scholarship. The scholarship provider would screen out deserving students who would be enjoying the scholarship through certain criteria.
Scholarship grantees, on the other hand, also have their counterpart in sustaining their grant. For some scholarship providers, they require their grantees to maintain a certain grade throughout the semester while some would check the background of the applicant whether they are coming from a poor family or not.
Like Alexa, through these scholarships and grants, there have been thousands of grantees who were able to finish their respective degrees. Alexa is just one of them.
“There is no reason not to pursue what we have set as our goal. Many resources are available to us. We just have to find it and work on it,” Alexa said.
“Poverty is not a hindrance to our dream. Be resourceful,” Alexa advised.