By Pinky Colmenares
Six people found hope – and a new beginning – through complete strangers in the form of companies who offered scholarships for training courses.
Most of those stories come from the automotive industry where many companies fund vocational schools, grant full scholarships in technical schools, or have in-house training programs to upgrade skills.
There’s the story of Rommel, only 28, who thinks like an old man taking care of the future of his family.
From odd jobs in the construction industry, he stumbled upon an opportunity to get into a free two-year training program at the Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology.
Today, he’s a professional technician at the Toyota Santa Rosa, Laguna dealership, and earns enough to pay for the education of a sibling and the living expenses of his family.
“Through the TMP Foundation Scholarship program, we are able to invest in the youth, the future of our nation. Not only does Toyota support education but also extends support for employment. I call this E to E: Education to Employment,” Cristina Arevalo, TMP first vice president, said.
And there’s the story of Ramie, a former fisherman who wanted a better life from the one he had living in a nipa hut illuminated at night by only a gas lamp.
He heard of the scholarship of the Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban, applied, passed the requirements, and is now the Parts and Service Assistant Manager of Isuzu Gencars Batangas.
“The Isuzu-TESDA school has produced outstanding graduates who are now working at IPC’s assembly line, at the Isuzu dealerships, not only as auto service mechanics but also as trainers,” said Joseph Bautista, Isuzu Philippines Corp. Sales Division head.
Read the story of Limnel, who used to juggle time between studies and work as a fast-food service crew – and sleeping only five hours in between.
He learned about a scholarship grant offered by Ford Group Philippines; applied for it; got in – and now working at Ford Manila Bay.
He now supports his siblings’ education and he sleeps at least seven hours a night!
“The Ford Automotive Technician Scholarship Program is one of our most valued CSR projects as it focuses on giving underprivileged youth a better chance in life through education.
Through this project, we are able to help not just the scholars but also their families live a more comfortable life by offering them employment in our Ford dealerships,” said Josephine Gonzalez, AVP, Government and Corporate Affairs of Ford Group Philippines.
Read the stories of Arnie and Jonh, both working at Mazda Greenhills.
As Mazda scholars, they were pushed to study hard because of their hard lives.
Arnie was an out-of-school youth who went back to finish high school at the age of 24.
Meanwhile, when he was still studying in Mindoro, Jonh had to walk six kilometers a day to get to school and back home.
“I am particularly proud of our education program with Meralco Foundation. Every year for the past four years, we sponsor 20 underprivileged students from across the country, the majority of them in Luzon. These are promising and bright students who can’t afford to go further than a high school without assistance. We bear all tuition expenses. They spend a year in the classroom, and another year in one of our dealership as OJT and apprentices. They are the most productive, smart young service personnel I know,” said Steven Tan, Bermaz Auto Philippines CEO, and president.
The automakers call these initiatives their CSR programs, and each one offers the opportunity that could lead to a new life.