OWWA grantees grateful for scholarships-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
FOR 21-year-old Saint Louis University Management Accounting graduate Shyla Dumapi, her scholarship from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has helped her pursue her dreams.
Dumapi is one among the 16 Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) and Overseas Filipino Worker Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) grantees that marched on the stage to receive their diploma making their parents, mostly migrant workers abroad doubly proud of their achievements.
In her batch this year, there was a summa cum laude, a magna cum laude and three cum laude graduates joining the also stellar performances in class standing of previous scholars since the program's inception in 2005.
"Malaki talaga ng naitulong ng scholarship para makatapos ako kasi ang mother ko OFW pero ang sweldo niya hindi po talaga kasya para sa five year course ko. So ang choice ko lang noon ay maging student assistant o maghanap ng scholarship pero pasalamat kami na nakakuha talaga kami ng ganitong opportunity kasi ang assistance nila na P10,000 very helpful talaga kung bakit ako nakapagtapos ngayon at bonus na lang ang pagiging cum laude ko," she said.
Another scholar, this time an EDSP grantee, Gerome Dado also of SLU finished as a cum laude in his accountancy course.
Dado said with the scholarship grant, he was able to send himself to college to cover for his various needs despite the meager earnings of his father, an electrician in Bahrain, who also pays for the tuition of his siblings.
“Yung scholarship hindi naman para lang sa mahirap lang at sa matalino lang meron din para sa mga masipag as long as they have the will and determination to push for their dreams,” he said.
OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon said the ODSP is a program aimed at providing scholarships for OFWs only earning $400 or less than compared to other migrant workers.
“Ngayon kung kulang ang kinikita ng OFW paano matutupad ng mga anak nila ang mga pangarap nilang mag-anak. Kaya tumutulong ang OWWA para mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga anak nila para makapag-aral,” Dimzon said.
Meantime, the EDSP is a competitive scholarship program offered to students that are sons or daughters of OFWs who became valedictorian or salutatorians in their class in high school.
These students are selected nationwide as among the top 200 in the test administered by the Department of Science and Technology.
“Talagang magagaling ang mga ito, sila ang cream of the crop at marami na rin ang nakapagtapos na may mga honors,” she said.
All over the country, the scholarships according to the administrator are big help in augmenting the income of OFWs which some think are high but are actually just enough and sometimes even fall short for all needs of the family.
She also encouraged sons and daughters of OFWs not to hesitate in going to their regional offices to seek benefits and other assistance they can avail just by being members of OWWA.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 01, 2014.