The remarkable event was attended by 397 college scholars-graduates and their respective families, the esteemed partners, and SM Foundation heads. Out of 397 scholars, 135 graduated with Latin honors, while 26 were recognized as academic distinction awardees.
Notable scholars from Bulacan include graduates from Bulacan State University, namely Christian Paolo Pascual, BS in Mathematics, and Rg Emplamado, BS in Accountancy, both of which are Summa Cum Laude, followed by Jenny Rose Zamora, BSEd Major in English, Magna Cum Laude, and Claricel Joy Peralta, BS in Accounting Technology, Cum Laude. Also from BSU were David Meinard Reynoso, BS in Information Technology; Jasper Garcia, BS in Electrical Engineering; and Piolo Batin, BS in Civil Engineering. Meanwhile, scholar-graduates from Baliuag University include Art Joseph Jumaquio, BS in Mechanical Engineering, and Lyndon Tadeo, BS in Accountancy.
In her address, SM Foundation’s Executive Director for Education Programs, Carmen Linda Atayde, emphasized the transformative power of education: “Behind these impressive statistics lie stories of triumph over challenges, stories of dreams pursued against all odds. These scholars, hailing from humble backgrounds, have shown that with opportunity and hard work, one can break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”
Atayde also recognized the support of mentors, educators, and the Sy family, noting how their efforts have paved the way for success, not only for today’s graduates but also for the communities they represent.
Echoing the vision of the SM group’s founder, Tatang Henry Sy Sr., SMFI Executive Director Debbie Sy also emphasized the importance of education as a tool for social mobility and poverty alleviation.
“As we stand here today, let us remember the vision of Tatang, who believed deeply in the power of education to break the shackles of poverty,” she said.
Addressing the scholars, Sy reminded the SM scholars of their role as catalysts for change in their communities: “You are the living proof of the transformative power of education. The SM Foundation Scholarship Program’s goal is not just academic success but to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”
“Now, armed with knowledge, be agents of social good in your communities. Your journey doesn’t end here; it’s a new beginning, and we can’t wait to witness the positive impact you’ll create,” she capped.
The SM Foundation’s Scholarship Program, established in 1993, has provided financial and holistic support to over 8,000 college and technical-vocational scholars, empowering them to pursue their academic aspirations and contribute to the betterment of their families.
This cements the SM group’s commitment to social good in the last 40 years, ensuring that deserving students, especially from low-income communities, have access to quality education and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.