SM Foundation (SMFI) follows a holistic approach in supporting its scholars under the SM Scholarship Program to ensure that they reach their fullest potential.
From tuition fees to allowances, enrichment activities to exclusive job offers upon graduation, SM Foundation sees to it that its scholars are well supported and taken care of. SM scholar alumni Nino Lopez and Analiza Paltad attested to this during a recent kumustahan session with some SMFI officers.
Both Lopez and Paltad shared how the program helped them finish their tertiary education and how it honed them to become more skilled, passionate, and knowledgeable individuals through the various enrichment activities provided to them by SM Foundation.
After graduation, Paltad took advantage of the exclusive job offer she received from the job fair organized by the SM Group. While Lopez got a work opportunity from a job fair organized by his alma matter—Asia Pacific College, an affiliate of SM. For them, these opportunities helped jumpstart their careers.
Lopez obtained BS Computer Science and Information Technology from Asia Pacific College in 2008. While Paltad finished BS in Elementary Education at the Philippine Normal University in 2005.
While in college, Lopez—the youngest of 5 siblings of two retired OFW parents whose mother later opted to sew clothes while his dad had a tricycle service—was active academically and was vice president of the SM scholars’ organization.
Twelve years in his professional life, his diligence and hard work paid off when he was hired in 2019 as senior business analyst for an enterprise project of Banco de Oro Unibank.
Today, Nino continues to be the leader both in his profession and in his spiritual calling. He is currently leading the Men’s ministry and his own Men’s discipleship group at CCF Muntinlupa. He is now a proud husband to Candz and doting father to Aki.
His advice to scholar-applicants: “Talent will help you stay longer, but Faith in God will make you stronger. Trust God’s process in our lives. We are being molded, through the help of SM Foundation, for greater things ahead of us.”
On the other hand, Paltad—whose dad is a company drive and mom is a housewife taking care of 5 children—went overseas to the Kingdom of Bahrain after her stint in the SM Group.
What I am and what my family is having now—a comfortable life—is all because of the support that SM Foundation gave while I was studying.
Her advice to the aspiring SM scholars: “Nobody is spared from the trials of life, but everyone can always find something positive even in the worst of times. Amidst this pandemic, we should not lose hope nor run out of positivity in life, especially in reaching our dreams and goals in life.”
“My parents always taught me that education is the only precious treasure that they can give to us which nobody can take away. So strive hard, with the opportunity being offered by SM Foundation – to pursue your education, seize this chance. A once in a lifetime chance that will change your life for a better future,” she concluded.