Article by: Shin Won Kim

Photo by: Mild Chawalitanon

De Mesa Library Drive - Photograph by Mild ChawalitanonEven with our busy schedules and demanding workload, students around ISM continuously give back to the Philippine community. . Senior Nathan De Villa has demonstrated this selflessness through his De Mesa Library Drive.

According to Nathan, the De Mesa Library Drive is a “book drive campaign to improve the supply of books to the De Mesa Elementary School” in Laguna. Because of the lack of sufficient resources, namely books, in public schools around provincial areas of the Philippines, the campaign aims to donate books “brand new or old” that could be used by the students.. With these donated books, Nathan strongly believes that the De Mesa Elementary School can “provide the standard level of education” for young students.

His inspiration for the program originated from his strong connection to Laguna province; as a child he has frequently visited the area.. Additionally his parents had an influence on his generous nature, as Nathan explains “[his] dad always encouraged [him] to play pick-up basketball with the kids.”  Through this interaction, not only did he get to know the children better, but also he witnessed the passion and ambition the children had for education.. “Astounded by the passion” of the children to learn , Nathan felt the sense of duty to help.. As one of his relatives helped fund the De Mesa Elementary School in San Gregorio, Laguna, he was able to work closely with the school to come up with the idea of starting a library drive campaign.

This campaign has already received huge support from his family, friends, and most importantly the ISM community for in the first week of his campaign, over 400 books were collected. Nathan stresses that the plan “is to continue receiving more books” as he hopes to collect 1000 books by this December. Along with another senior, Mikel Panlilio, he plans to further support the De Mesa Elementary School by “establishing a charity basketball game” to raise funds for the school.

The generosity of these Bearcats can be an example for the rest of the ISM student body to step forward and leave  paw prints of integrity, service and merit, the very core values that ISM is built upon.

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