AS THEY stood on stage to take their pledge, The Outstanding Students (Thos) Alumni Association officers led by its president, Hanemar Ponteras, have come full circle.
Most of them felt like it was just yesterday when they received their certificates, medals, or trophies as participants of Thos Awards.
Now, they have come back to pledge their duty to protect its integrity at all times and to become vanguards of all those who believe in and live by the Oath of Excellence. As charter officers, they will take the lead in bringing 50 years of Thos excellence in 2019 as the program marks its golden milestone.
For 49 years now, The Outstanding Students Awards have been at the helm of recognizing high school and college graduating students of Negros Occidental who excel in academics, leadership, community service, and personal integrity.
Organized by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Bacolod, Inc., Thos Awards hope to inspire more youths to become active citizens creating positive change.
Over the years, it has evolved to be more than just an award-giving body by partnering with various institutions to provide personal, social, and organizational development.
This year, its outreach arm “Thos Gives Back” partners with the Visayan Center for Hotel and Restaurant Services (VCHRS) to give a scholarship program to one school’s recipient.
Dr. Reynold Wong, the keynote speaker during the February 10 Grand Awarding Ceremonies held at The District North Point Ayala, Talisay City, had also come full circle in his journey of excellence.
In his heartfelt speech, he shared with the Thos class of 2018 how his hard work and prayers have brought him through the hardships of life and into the active neurologist he was today.
He not only serves as a medical doctor but as a consultant, university professor, and a hospital administrator as well.
He paid tribute to his father who passed away barely two months ago and remembered him as a great source of inspiration and tireless dedication.
Wong, as well as the Thos Alumni Association officers and members, had gone on to more prestigious searches and gained accolades in various fields. But more than the recognition and awards are the lasting values of excellence, service, and integrity.
These are the virtues that Thos Awards stand for. In the face of challenges, relationships that are built with these virtues as foundation go the distance. And then comes back in full circle to form an endless loop that spreads and immortalizes the real meaning of being outstanding.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on February 14, 2018.
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