Insular Foundation: Supporting Dreams through Education

Insular Foundation’s Gold Eagle Scholar alumna Jessica Celine Macanas earned her BS Mathematics degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2016. Aside from her current job as an Actuarial Manager at InLife, she is an active volunteer in Insular Foundation’s programs.
Insular Foundation’s Gold Eagle Scholar alumna Jessica Celine Macanas earned her BS Mathematics degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2016. Aside from her current job as an Actuarial Manager at InLife, she is an active volunteer in Insular Foundation’s programs.

EDUCATION empowers individuals to improve their lives and create an impact on the lives of others. This in gist sums up the stories of the scholars and beneficiaries of Insular Foundation’s programs on education, enterprise growth, and women empowerment.

Insular Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Insular Life (InLife), recently celebrated its 54 years of helping Filipinos achieve their dreams. Graduates of the Foundation’s college scholarship program and data science training, and a winner of social enterprise challenge share how their achieved dreams enable them to help others lead A Lifetime for Good.

Empowered to make lives better

Jessica Celine Macanas said that she was fortunate to make it to the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in 2016 to pursue BS Mathematics. She added that she is even more blessed to qualify for Insular Foundation’s Gold Eagle Scholarship Program. “Both of these seemed like answers to my prayer for directions. Because of the scholarship, I was able to go to college without adding to the burden of my parents,” Macanas said.

Since the scholarship program was specifically meant for Math students, Macanas had to do her best and excel in her studies. “In God’s grace and with all the help I had, I was able to graduate with Latin Honors, and I immediately started my journey as an actuary in InLife. I will forever be grateful to Insular Foundation for the support they have given me,” she said.

Macanas started working at InLife as pricing actuary involved in the development of insurance products. As the officer-in-charge for the Actuarial Valuation Department now, she is more involved in financial reports to determine the company’s reserves for operational expenses and insurance claims.

“Being an actuary is a very challenging yet very rewarding job. In the Philippines, there is only a very small group of actuaries. The job also comes with continuous learning and development as we take actuarial exams at our own pace to be a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of the Philippines,” Macanas said.

Being an Actuarial Manager is not just an ordinary job for the Gold Eagle Scholar alumna. “With my job, I am able to both give back to the company that has turned my dreams into reality and serve the country through it. InLife is a company for Filipinos, dedicated to being a force for good to make lives better and empower families in attaining financial security,” Macanas said.  

Inspired to nurture minds

For another Gold Eagler Eagle scholar, Iris C. Ranara, poverty showed the immense value of education. “My father passed away when I was in third year college and my mother was working as a caretaker to support us. Being the eldest among four siblings, I had responsibilities to handle. Due to financial constraints, I worked as a service crew to save money for my studies. Since then, I hoped to nurture minds, so I pursued my dream to become a teacher,” she shared.

In 2015, Insular Foundation offered the scholarship program to its first batch of three beneficiaries from Bohol Island State University-Main Campus, and Ranara was one of them. To show her appreciation to Insular Foundation, she maintained a spot on the dean’s list and completed her Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English degree with Latin Honors in 2019. 

“Imparting my skills and expertise to my students was just a dream years ago. I am a full-time instructor at Tagbilaran City College for almost two years now.  I am also an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for almost four years, handling diverse student nationalities from different parts of the world,” Ranara said, adding her appreciation to Insular Foundation for investing in her future. 

Strengthened to make a positive impact

Czar Carbonel said the InLife Negosyo Challenge provided 360-degree support to Magwai, a startup of pioneering sustainable marine-friendly personal care products. She explained that the mentorship sessions helped them refine their business strategies and priorities; the technical assistance addressed the challenges in their operations; and the funding allowed for sales and finance training, and marketing experiments.  

“Our goal is to continue providing sustainable personal care alternatives to consumers through continuous product innovation and distribution. We aim to develop more products that are committed to both sustainability and great product experience. We also hope to expand our distribution to more tourist destinations in the country and to new markets like ASEAN in the next years,” she said. 

Carbonel pointed out that for Magwai, the challenge lies in generating consumer demand for new sustainable products. And as the social enterprise tackles this challenge, support from institutions like InLife and Insular Foundation goes a long way to further their cause.

“Everyone has the power to contribute to sustainable change and drive meaningful impact. It’s just a matter of empowering individuals and creating these connections to allow us to harness each other’s strengths. The Insular Foundation has empowered Magwai during a critical time when it needed support so it can continue to fulfill our mission of making a positive environmental impact through our products,” she said.

Trained to begin a dream career 

As Diwa SD. Tiu explored other careers during the pandemic, she came across information that a data analyst is a sought-after profession that provides generous income.

“Insular Foundation and its Data Science Training Program led me to my dream field. I wasn't expecting to be hired months right after the course, especially because it is hard for career shifters to land an IT job without an experience. The training helped my growth as a person, team leader and data analyst,” she said.

Tiu expressed gratitude to Insular Foundation for helping her make a “life-changing” career shift. “Community Empowerment and collaboration are great steps in promoting change. If there are a lot of initiatives like this data science training program, more Filipinos will be skilled enough to pursue careers that will help them technically and financially. A lot of people would want to learn only if they are given a chance,” she said.    

Insular Foundation believes that education serves as an equalizer of opportunities for Filipinos. In opening doors to opportunities for young minds and enterprising women, the Foundation helps turn dreams into reality and multiplies enablers of positive impact in the community. PR


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