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SM Foundation brings scholars closer to their dreams

Daisy Mae Puno
SM scholar Daisy Mae Puno during their graduation pictorial last March 2020 before their place was place into lockdown.
SM scholar Daisy Mae-Puno
SM scholar Daisy Mae Puno (right) with her mom (middle) and sister (left).

DURING a kumustahan session, new SM scholars Edmon Laguna from Leyte and Daisy Mae Puno from Davao de Oro shared how determined they are to finish their studies with the help of the SM College Scholarship program.

Having witnessed the hardships of their families, both Laguna and Puno seconded Tatang Henry Sy’s belief that education is the greatest equalizer that would enable them to help their families bail out of poverty.

Laguna comes from a family of farmers and is now taking BS Accountancy at the St. Paul School of Professional Studies in Palo, Leyte.

He learned about the SM scholarship through an online advertisement on a government site. “I grabbed the opportunity since one of the scholarship’s priority courses is Accountancy. I applied in December and got notified after a week or so saying that I passed the initial screening. I took the exam, participated in the interview, and then the rest was history,” Laguna shared.

“There were days that we were not able to eat three times a day because our family income goes to animal feeds and crop equipment for the farm. Aside from helping my father tend our farm, there was also a time when I need to save my allowance in order to augment our agri-inputs. I have no choice since farming is our bread and butter” he recalled.

SM scholar Edmon Laguna
SM scholar Edmon Laguna with his mom.

Same as Laguna, Puno also comes from a family of farmers in Laak, Davao de Oro. She is currently enrolled at University of Mindanao taking BS Accountancy. According to her, without the help from SM Foundation, she won’t be able to enroll to her dream course and university.

“As early as Senior High, I already started my preparation for my dream course which is Accountancy. During my high school days, I studied hard and did some research on basic accounting principles and accounting terminologies to understand how a company keeps control of financial events and how it is performing. These made me aspire to be the first home-grown CPA in our municipality, Laak, because the current accountant in our municipality is not from Laak. I want to give pride to my hometown,” Puno shared.

She further narrated how the COVID-19 pandemic made her broaden her goals and perspective and bolstered her desire to uplift the economic status of her family, “I’m determined to succeed in life so we won’t have to be afraid for our next meal, for hospital and medication bills, and other expenses.”

“Once I have a stable source of income, aside from helping my family, I would also help others who are in need of assistance. This is what I learned from SM Foundation, that we need to spread hope and kindness – to spread social good,” Puno concluded.

Edmon Laguna and Daisy Mae Puno are part of the 200 new scholars under the SM College Scholarship Program for School Year 2020-2021.

SM Foundation, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993. To date, SMFI has supported almost 5,500 scholars nationwide.