Being a scholar is not a stroll in the park. Balancing studying while maintaining their grades and living the life of a normal teenager proved to be a difficult task but Giovanni Carlo C. Basco, Sherlet B. De Leon and Cherrymay G. Dinco, scholars of AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO), surpassed these all, with flying colors. But being a scholar also has its toll. They also encountered hardships and obstacles that tested their faith and rattled their minds.
The Creative Scholar
Giovanni, a graduate of UP Diliman and a degree holder of BA Creative Writing had his chance to become one of the AFPEBSO scholars when his father,SK2 Jose M. Basco of the Philippine Navy learned of this opportunity. A shy boy fresh from college, he shared that he almost lost his scholarship grant to a grade of 2.75 in one of his Spanish courses. He immediately took action and wrote a letter to AFPEBSO about his condition. What saved him was his computed average which was still above quota. But, through all these hardships, his main motivation stays true and proved to be his saving grace in times of trial. His penchant for learning the craft of creative writing proved to be the oasis for Giovanni’s struggles throughout college. “If you like what you are doing then you will definitely succeed in what you are doing. “And besides, I Iike what I’m doing”, he said.
As of now, Giovanni plans on mastering his craft further and possibly taking on teaching jobs in the near future. According to him, “AFPEBSO is not just an institution granting scholarships and giving allowance to who they deemed qualified for their help, they also reach out to them by conducting seminars and activities for the social development of their scholars because they know that their responsibility will not end by giving scholarship grants, eventually they know that they are also raising up future leaders of our country which will spearhead change in the future. I am thankful that through those excursions, my meager knowledge about AFP widened and I became aware of what I can do to give back to the institution that provided for my college education. I also gained new acquaintances from different schools and my network of friends also expanded’.
The Responsible Scholar
Cherrymay, the fifth in her family graduated from Technological University of the Philippines Manila got a degree of BS Entrepreneurial Management and had her share of struggle in proper time management before she can achieve her goals. To help her parents, Cherrymay opted to go to a State University.
Cherrymay Dinco and her parents on her graduation day
Cherrymay’s driving force is her parents’ proud faces when she graduated with honors. “Ever since I was in highschool, I have been graduating with honors, that is why I tried my hardest to achieve this award and let them feel my gratitude by graduating Cum Laude”.
Now that she has graduated, Cherrymay ‘s goal is to find a suitable job wherein she can fully harness her skills and be able to help her parents in her siblings’ school fees.
“Being raised in a big family with four siblings simultaneously going to college, AFPEBSO’s scholarship grants served as a big help in lessening the financial burden my parents had to bear”.
The Grateful Scholar
Like Cherrymay,Sherlet, a degree holder of BS in Information Technology at the Central Colleges of the Philippines, also view time management as her greatest enemy in achieving her dream.
Sherlet De Leon and her father on her Graduation Day
Sherlet shared that her parents’ undergraduate status as well as the Almighty Father served as her motivation to pursue her course and graduate with honors. “Seeing your children achieve what you never achieve is a parents’ greatest joy, but graduating with honors is like adding cherry on top”.
Sherlet, like Cherrymay also shared that although her father is a good provider, AFPEBSO’s scholarship grant secured her future and is also a big help to her parents.
Like Cherrymay, she is also currently looking for work to help repay her parents and make her lifelong dreams come true.
These fortunate students, with the help of AFPEBSO, became a source of inspiration as well as joy both to their parents and their younger siblings. Now, they serve as a model for the remaining scholars to aim high and to maximize the help they are receiving from AFP. These students proved that even though hardships and obstacles hinder the way to your dreams, with determination, hard work and God, nothing is impossible.
The AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO) is an organization which deeply recognizes the heroism in each Filipino soldier. It is one of the morale and welfare outfits of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that grant educational benefits both to the military personnel and their dependents with the aim of helping them secure a brighter future. AFPEBSO gives priority to the orphans of Filipino soldiers who were killed in action.
AFPEBSO was established in 2000 (taking the role of then AFP Provident Trust Fund or AFPPTF) and has already supported the education of thousands of military dependents. Currently, AFPEBSO assists 4,535 grantees all over the country in various educational levels through its educational benefit programs.
Photo Credits to Cherrymay Dinco and Sherlet De Leon