PH 1st female chief engineer invests in top education franchise

PASSION FOR BUSINESS, FAMILY. Marine chief engineer turned entrepreneur Niña Sue Da Silva says passion is an important ingredient to become successful in business. (Contributed photo)

IF YOU are a mom who’s wondering if there’s a way to become a successful, empowered businesswoman and a mom at the same time, here’s how a Cebuana marine engineer franchisee did it.

With Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM) and Unique English Classroom (UEC) school enrichment franchises, she found the ultimate work-life balance–the sweet spot between family and career.

“When you love what you are doing, you will always find time and when you are passionate about your cause, you will achieve a sense of fulfillment,” said chief engineer Niña Sue Da Silva, a mother of three.

Da Silva is a franchisee for SAM Singapore Math and UEC Consolacion, Cebu.

She was the Philippines’ first woman licensed marine chief engineer and a graduate of Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (Maap).

Why did you franchise SAM and UEC Learning Center?

I was just looking for an alternative school enrichment for my children. I was unhappy with their former after-school program because they got bored due to repetitive worksheets. However, there was no alternative program here in our town. So when I heard about the SAM education franchise opportunity from Fame, my co-alumna in Maap, I immediately signed up for the franchise orientation. Fame is also the franchisee of SAM Singapore Math and UEC Learning Center in Mariveles, Bataan. In fact, two of our co-alumnae are also franchisees of SAM.

I’m happy with my decision because I saw that other parents in our community have the same need for a better school enrichment program. In fact, SAM is modeled after Singapore Math-the global top-ranking curriculum based on international educational assessment such as trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Program for International Student Assessment.

What are the benefits of franchising a school enrichment business for your family?

The first people who benefited the program were my children. They were my first students for SAM and UEC. I’m happy that they like the programs. They are excited to go to each class. In fact, they are my walking advertisements now. When they have classmates in school who are struggling in Math, they convince them to enroll in SAM. I’m happy because I’m also helping other kids in our community with our school enrichment programs.

How do you manage your school enrichment business, work and family at the same time?

I involved my entire family in our school enrichment business. Though my children are still young, I designated some roles like marketing because I want them to gain experience. In fact, they see our learning center franchise as a part of our family and not a rival from my attention.

Currently, I’m also the Cebu branch manager of one of the country’s leading seafarer manning agency-OSM Maritime Agency Inc. As an entrepreneur mom, I always value my time. I ensure that I spend quality time with my family while being productive and efficient at work and my school enrichment business.

When you love what you are doing, you will always find the time and when you are passionate about your cause, you will achieve a sense of fulfillment.

Tell us more about your experience with your school enrichment franchise?

We opened our SAM Learning Center franchise on April 28, 2019, and in 12 weeks, I’m happy because I have a total of 60 active students. Every Saturday, I conduct parent orientation and about 90 percent of the parents enroll their children. The program is easy to market because I know the struggles of parents like me with kids who used to dislike Math. I know the struggle when their kids are not answering their homework. I was once in their shoes.

I believe that SAM can help their children excel in Math because I saw my children improve in less than three months. Aside from that, I want them to have no struggle in Math because I have Math anxiety before. SAM offers life-changing benefits for students, like helping them to excel in school, understand different Math concepts and accelerate their learning.

In addition, I franchised the UEC this June 2019. Like SAM, UEC is a progressive education program that promotes critical and creative thinking.

Would you recommend SAM and UEC franchise to your fellow seafarers and mommies?

Yes, because they can help not just their children but also the community. We are helping a lot of students and making their parents happy. Indeed, education is the best investment.

On June 25, 2019, Da Silva was hailed by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) as the Marina Outstanding Woman of the Year Award-Maritime Professional for her outstanding contribution to the maritime industry and the greater community.

She was also a recipient of Young Person of the Year Awardee 2018 of Crew Connect Global Award, an international award presented to a marine human resource professional under 40 who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry worldwide (out of 600+ nominees).

The judging panel was looking for excellence innovation and role models in maritime who can keep pace with the industry’s rapid information. (PR)


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