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 the chance to stand on solid ground, they readily take the chance. They utilize it as a seedbed where they can 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 an 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.
But while they had journeyed through life with uncertainty, they had always planted in her mind the power of education.
“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
And so, to help her family, she studied hard in grade school as soon as she 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 SM 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 added.
Through the scholarship offered by the SM group through SM Foundation, 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,” she added.
Jonnah currently serves 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. Aside from providing me with a scholarship grant, working in SM has provided a sense of security for me and my family,” she shared.
Opening doors to more
SM Foundation made it its goal to help create an environment where low-income families can thrive and achieve stability, just like how the SM College Scholarship Program paved ways for Jonnah and her family.
For the school year 2023-2024, the application period is open from February 1-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.
For more information about the SM College Scholarship program, visit https://www.sm-foundation.org/what_we_do/college-scholarship-program.