TWENTY years ago, high school student Rizaly Lim and her four siblings would watch in awe every time they pass by the construction of the first SM City in her hometown Sta. Rosa, Laguna. All five children, packed in the tricycle their father rides for a living, were all excitedly looking forward to happy family weekends they would be spending at the huge mall.
Today, after graduating summa cum laude through a scholarship from SM Foundation, Rizaly is now a certified public accountant (CPA) working as accounting manager for the head office of SM Prime Holdings, a leading property developer in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Rizaly finished high school at the Balibago National High School as class valedictorian in 2005 and was already sending applications for other college scholarships when her teacher asked the top 10 students to go to SM City Sta. Rosa for an interview with SM Foundation.
A few exams and interviews later, SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) went to visit her and her family at home to inform them that she would be receiving a full scholarship with a monthly allowance until she finished her course.
In 2010, Rizaly graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy. She went on to pass the Philippine CPA Board Exams on her first try in October 2010. The assistance of SMFI, she said, went beyond tuition and allowances. “With full scholarship grants and monthly allowances, as well as the opportunity to work at SM Store during our summer and Christmas vacations, the SMFI scholarship has enabled me to help my family financially.”
To date, SM Foundation has assisted more than 8,000 college and technical/vocational students, and has donated over 100 school buildings with a total of 334 classrooms built across the country.