Article by: Grace Stevens
ISM has always strived to give back to the Filipino community, be it through rebuilding gymnasiums and classrooms at the typhoon-ravaged Estancia, hosting the Global Issues Network Manila (GINila) conference annually, or organizing Saturday service trips with our many service partners. It seems this tradition of giving back, which defines ISM’s legacy, is only going to reach greater heights given that this year, two of ISM’s very own students, Selina D. and Sienna H., have collaborated with CAS Coordinator Mr. Woods to set up a fund that will sponsor kids from local schools. All ISM clubs and organizations will be able to donate to this fund which will be used for local scholarship students chosen based on their academic excellence and leadership qualities.
This year, the GINila team has taken the lead in sponsoring students by backing the full secondary education of Nelgar Batula, a student from one of ISM’s service partners, SPECS, who was chosen based on recommendations of his “high academic and community engagement” according to Ms. Paul. By using funds raised from selling GINila shakes in the cafeteria and delegate registration fees, enough has been raised to provide for him all the way from grades 7 through 12. With this, GIN has taken a significant step forward promoting one of its primary goals: education for all. It looks like this is only the first of many scholarships that GINila will be sponsoring.
But GIN isn’t the only club that has displayed interest in such sponsorship. The Philippine Cultural Club (PCC) too expressed their interest through President Liana S. who says, “It is our duty as the Philippine Cultural Club to take action in supporting the Filipinos who have the gift and intelligence but cannot afford higher education.” She also shared the club’s goals of supporting ISM’s scholarship fund and raising awareness of the issues that it stands for.
As a very service-oriented school, ISM has always made giving back to its community a priority. Hopefully these scholarship funds will provide service clubs with an opportunity to take their hard work to the next level and create a more profound awareness of the lack of access to higher education in the Filipino community.