From Lao Foundation’s (LFI) roster of 40 college scholars this school year in partnership with Charity First Foundation (CFFI), 9 scholars have graduated from their different 4-5 year courses namely----BS Electronics and Communication Engineering, Bachelor in Banking and Finance, BS Information Technology, BSBA Major in Marketing Management, BSBA Major in Economics, BS Secondary Education Major in Biology, and BS Accountancy.

Charity First Foundation’s “indigence based” scholarship is on its 14th year of graduation ceremony last April 6, bringing LFI’s total number of sponsored scholars who have graduated in college to 18. LFI has 4 graduates in school year 2011-2012 and 5 graduates in school year 2012-2013. The graduates in the first two batches are now teachers, accountant, process executive, financial analyst, online banking account specialist, and customer care specialist in their respective work place.

College education is a lot of hard work especially for these indigent scholars but it’s worth the cost and the sacrifice. The scholar who gave the graduation speech  hailed from Zamboanga  and aptly described her journey towards the fulfillment of her dream: to have a college education which she believed the  way of getting out of poverty. Being the eldest, her mother had earlier told her to quash her dream as it was already difficult for them to let her finish high school.

With her dream, she came to Manila and worked as a house helper to save for her education. Years have past, but she still was not able to save enough as she also had to send money to the province to help her other siblings get to school. A friend told her of an opportunity to work abroad and on the day of the release of her passport, she prayed for guidance if it was really the way for her to finish college.

It was also on that day that on her way to the Department of Foreign Affairs she passed by the Philippine Normal University. She inquired and took the entrance exam of the school and passed it.  She decided to stay and study although her savings was not enough to sustain even one year in college. She looked for possible scholarships but found none. Fortunately, her employer offered her to stay in their place for free while she was studying and also told her about Charity First Foundation. She went to Charity First Foundation and after a thorough screening she was accepted as scholar.

After 6 years in Manila working towards achieving her dream and without seeing her family, she got a huge surprise --- during her graduation speech, her parents were present,   planed in by Charity First Foundation. Her employer who had supported her was also present.

For all the 50 CFFI scholars who have graduated this school year, their hard work in maintaining their scholarship (no failing grade, no absence in the monthly Life Skills and Motivational Seminar and volunteering in the medical & dental missions of CFFI) despite several challenges paid off. With a college degree tucked under their belt and a set of values inculcated by CFFI, they now have better chances in securing a brighter future for themselves and and their families too.

Dr. Cecilio Pedro, the CEO and President of Lamoiyan Corporation (manufacturer of Hapee toothpaste) was invited by Charity First Foundation as the keynote speaker. He emphasized hardwork and taking action now. 

After the program, Paul Alfaro and Tina Viray were able to meet and greet the 9 scholars sponsored by the Lao Foundation.  They were all invited to join the D&L Group of Companies.

At present, 3 of the 9 LFI sponsored scholars already have jobs and some already signified their interest to work with D&L Group of Companies by submitting their resume. 

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