MORE than 100 senior high school students of Sta. Rosa National High School in Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu recently received a year’s worth of educational assistance from the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and its corporate donors.
The one-year educational assistance program was made possible through the proceeds of PBSP’s 12th Olango Challenge (OC) in May 2019.
OC is the country’s longest running open-water swimming competition held annually to raise funds for education initiatives in Olango.
Since 2008, the OC has been able to build nine classrooms for Olango’s elementary schools.
The competition’s proceeds also provided educational assistance to over 190 senior high school students in Sta. Rosa.
The students have been receiving help since 2017.
The race’s major sponsors were Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (Opascor), Aboitiz Foundation, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., City Savings Bank, PLDT and PhilPacific Insurance Brokers and Managers Inc.
The swimmers who participated in the race were also part of the group of benefactors.
“Our students who have been chosen as scholars express their gratitude for getting allowances for projects, contributions and fare to get to school, and their immersion sites,” said Sta. Rosa National High School Assistant Principal Natiadel Sayo.
The educational assistance funds the students’ monthly transportation and school projects, fees for the national certification assessments and employment assistance for students who want to find jobs after graduation.
The students also received cooking equipment from PBSP and its corporate donors Opascor and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. The equipment will be used for the school’s cookery.
“These tools can help us enhance our skills in cooking different kinds of dishes. Your help motivates us to work hard to slowly make our dreams come true. Thank you very much for your generosity,” said senior high school student Mariz Igot during the recent turnover ceremony.
In 2018, the OC proceeds were used to provide equipment for the school’s Shielded Metal Arc Welding laboratory.
Opascor president Tomas Riveral, one of the donors, said during the turnover, “Poverty is not a hindrance to success.”
“I believe education is the great equalizer. This gives the less fortunate the chance to level up and improve their lives,” said Riveral, a lawyer.
PBSP trustee and Visayas Regional Committee chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz affirmed the important role of education in the students’ lives.
“My only wish is that all of you will work hard and perform better in your studies, so that one day you can help other people the same way you are all being blessed now,” Aboitiz said. S