SM scholars fulfill dreams of becoming licensed CPAs
(Manila, Philippines, December 18, 2013) — Forty-four SM scholar-graduates passed the licensure exam for Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in October given by the Board of Accountancy. These scholars were able to finish their college education through the help of the SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI), the socio-civic arm of the SM Group of Companies.
“We are proud of our scholars because they always strive to do their best not just for themselves but for their families as well,” says Linda Atayde, executive director for Education of SM Foundation, Inc.
SM scholars Jessica Habunal, April Lopez, and Alvin Wesley Taban were some of the successful passers of the board exam. All three agree that their being an SM scholar in college instilled in them the discipline needed for someone preparing for a licensure test.
“SM Foundation, Inc. played a major role in my success. My parents have no enough resources to send me to a university. I had to work so I could study but because of the SM College Scholarship Program, I didn’t have to worry about my tuition and fees and I have plenty of time to study,” says Jessica, who graduated summa cum laude from the Central Philippine University in Iloilo.
April, a magna cum laude graduate from Holy Angels University in Pampanga, feels blessed to have achieved something for herself. “I am thankful to SMFI because they pushed me to be better. I want to start my career in public practice because I want to have a more thorough knowledge of auditing,” she says.
“I owe a lot to SM for the scholarship they granted to me. If not for it, I would not be able to earn my college degree from Asia Pacific College. The foundation gave me the chance to realize my dreams,” says Alvin, an academic distinction awardee.
As SM scholars, Jessica, April and Alvin received free tuition and miscellaneous school fees as well as a monthly stipend. He and other scholars were also given opportunities to work during summer and Christmas breaks in SM malls and Department stores.
The SM College Scholarship Program supports an estimated 1,300 college scholars at any time nationwide. The scholars are enrolled in 82 colleges and universities in NCR, Baguio, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Rizal, Tarlac, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Cauayan and Tacloban.
“The SM College Scholarship Program believes in education as an effective tool to overcome poverty,” says Atayde. “By sending one member of the family to college, the program paves the way for that one member to one day do the same for his or her siblings. This creates a multiplier effect, enabling Filipino youth and their families to secure the future they want for themselves.”
About SM Foundation
SM Foundation is the socio-civic arm of the SM Group of Companies through which it helps the less fortunate in the communities it serves. The Foundation has four areas of advocacy: education through scholarship programs and donation of school buildings; health through medical missions, mobile clinics, and establishment of wellness and health centers; livelihood and community development; and the conduct of relief operations to victims of calamities. The Foundation intends to serve more communities as SM builds more malls around the country.