Stability is the foundation of a well-lived life. With basic needs fulfilled, people have the opportunity to develop themselves, explore various facets of life, and contribute to the welfare of the community.
When aspiring youth, especially those from low-income households, are given a chance to stand on solid ground, they readily take the chance. They utilize it as a seedbed to cultivate their dreams and aspirations.
One testament to this is SM scholar alumna Jonnah Jane Sacamay, who grew up in a family where stability seemed like uncharted territory. Years back, Jonnah's family's main source of living was flower farming. This made them walk on a thin line as the demand for flowers was seasonal, and they were also often affected by unpredictable weather disturbances.
Jonnah (center) with her parents during her graduation
While they had journeyed through life with uncertainty, they had always planted the power of education in her mind. "Given that the nature of farming is very seasonal, our income is not stable. Aside from augmenting our daily needs, we also had to ensure that my education is secured,"Jonnah recalled.
Holding on to the power of education
To help her family, she studied hard in grade school and learned about others who had the opportunity to pursue college through the SM College Scholarship Program. With her whole heart dedicated to learning and her eyes set on the scholarship, she finished high school as the class valedictorian. Once the forms were available, she immediately processed her application at the SM Store in Cebu.
"I was informed that I got accepted as an SM Scholar. From then on, a huge weight was lifted off my parents' shoulders. I could pursue my chosen degree in my chosen university," she said.
Through SM Foundation, a scholarship offered by the SM group, she was able to focus on the development of her skills and knowledge not only in accountancy but especially in life. She became a Magna Cum Laude graduate of BS Accountancy at the University of San Carlos.
"The SM Scholarship helped me reach my dream of becoming a CPA, and this opened doors for me, enabling me to land a job that empowered me to help my family," she said. "My experience in retail has given me wide knowledge in different areas. With this, I always make sure that my family makes informed decisions in all aspects of life. One thing that has become a tradition among SM Cebu scholars during my time was to have an outreach program. In our own way, we were able to pay forward the help that we received from SM. It was a fulfilling experience that we could share our blessings in our own little way.”
Jonnah currently works as a senior accounting manager at the SM Store Cebu. Aside from financial security, she currently takes care of her parents' medical expenses and lets them enjoy vibrant life experiences after retiring as flower farmers.
"Having a degree enabled me and my family to experience more in life. It paved the way for me to secure a stable job, which allowed me to travel, treat my family to a nice meal, take them shopping on special occasions, and most importantly, support my parents and their medical expenses,” she said. “Aside from providing me with a scholarship grant, working in SM has provided a sense of security for me and my family.”
For those who are interested, the application for the school year 2023-2024 is ongoing until March 31, 2023. The selected scholars may specialize in accounting, information technology, engineering, and education with full tuition and monthly allowance, including enrichment programs and activities.
To know more clickhere.