At the first joint assembly of college and technical-vocational scholars of SM Foundation in SMX Convention Center in Pasay, alumni shared their inspiring tales of hard work and perseverance.  At the first joint assembly of college and technical-vocational scholars of SM Foundation in SMX Convention Center in Pasay, alumni shared their inspiring tales of hard work and perseverance. 

SM Foundation scholars share inspiriang stories

Scholars carry their flag on the way to SM MOA cinemas to watch a movie. 

Nikki Sotelo, a graduate of Punlaan School (Batch 2016), had a stable job years after graduation. She now works as a sales executive in Marquis Events Place, has her own condo unit, and is currently investing in the stock market. Sotelo now supports her parents and siblings. 

“None of these things would have been possible if I did not experience hardships in life,” shared Sotelo. 

She continued, “But despite these tribulations, you will find someone along the way who will give you support and the proper gear to set you up in life. I will be forever grateful that I am a product of SM Foundation.”

Marc Rodolf Arca, a BS Accountancy graduate from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and a CPA Licensure Exam 4th placer, has been with SGV for seven years now and currently holds the position of Director in the Assurance practice.

“Everything I have now is a result of the fact that I was able to graduate from college with the help of SM Foundation—the foundation that Tatang (Henry Sy, Sr.) built. The person I am right now has been greatly influenced by the experiences I had during my SM scholarship days,” stated Arca.

Moon Ray Lo, on the other hand, graduated BS Computer Engineering from the University of San Carlos in Cebu. He recalled that he was on the wait-list when he applied for the SM scholarship. But he did not lose hope and later on got a slot into the program. 

“If something is destined for you, it is really for you. It will always find a way to put you there. But always remember, you also need to match it with hard work,” he said. 

Debbie Reyes-Ayson, a BS Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, is currently based in Singapore with her family. She flew to Manila just to meet the SM scholars and be able to share her story. “The secret recipe to success,” she said, “is that you have to be focused on what you want to achieve, and then you pair it with strong determination.” 

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