The annual SM Scholars Assembly at the SM Mall of Asia recently gathered 500 scholars from the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Olongapo, Cabanatuan, Pangasinan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon for a day of fun and life lessons from their fellow scholars, mentors and benefactors.
The gathering began with an early morning session of Zumba. Linda Atayde, SM Foundation’s Executive Director for Education, welcomed the scholars and gave them a brief background on how the college scholarship program started with 100 students, up to supporting 1,000 scholars at present.
Among those who delivered inspirational messages was Harley Sy, Executive Director of SMIC and Co-Vice Chairman and Treasurer of SM Retail, Inc.
He discussed the value of having a five-year and 10-year plan. He emphasized the importance of patience and hard work in building a good foundation for their careers. He added: “Adjust. Don’t take anything personally. Look for solutions. Find a mentor. Be maabilidad (resourceful).”
Sy shared his experiences as a college student and urged the scholars to pace one’s self.
“Be responsible but do not allow other people to pressure you beyond what you can handle. Do what you can within your capacity and don’t feel bad about what you cannot do,” he said.
“Do not allow other people to make you miserable. Choose when to chill and when to take on a challenge. Pace yourself,” Sy told the scholars.
SM scholar graduates were represented by Jefferd Facundo, who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from National University in 2016.
Facundo is currently a Data Privacy Officer in his alma mater and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer.
He told the scholars: “Failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is part of success.”
On behalf of the scholars, Facundo thanked the Sy family, saying: “We came from different backgrounds, but we have the same destination – success. All thanks to SM.”
The day was capped off with a free movie, the hilarious, feel-good “Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation.”
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