Scholarship Implementation Report 2021Covering the Yeats2019-2021
Mission Accomplished: All Four PACES Scholars Have Graduated
In January 2021, Ms. Koleen L. Bacud officially received her diploma in B.S. Civil Engineering from the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao, after completing some projects that were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the delay, Ms. Bacud was awarded the diploma as of June 2020, making her the fourth PACES scholar to have graduated in 2020.
The year 2020 marks a milestone for PACES and the STEMS70 scholarship program. All four STEMS70 scholars, who were awarded scholarships in 2017 completed their bachelor’s degrees in the years 2019 and 2020, marking a 100% completion rate. Despite the raging pandemic in 2020, the last three scholars finished their studies in time. As previously reported here, Mr. Kenneth Dave B. Borja and Ms. Cathrine M. Madlangbayan obtained B.S. Metallurgical Engineering and B.S. Civil Engineering degrees, respectively, from Mindanao State University (MSU-IIT) and Batangas State University. This is in addition to Mr. Jhun Michael G. Aballa, the first scholar to graduate in 2019.
Koleen Bacud has been on the Dean’s list, and used to work in the school’s Guidance Office before she was accepted into the STEMS70 program. She is a product of the Cagayan National High School and the Solana South Central School where she garnered academic honors. Koleen was inspired while still in high school to study Civil Engineering when her wooden family house was blown down by typhoon winds. Ironically, two strong typhoons ravaged the Cagayan Valley toward the end of 2020, just as she was completing her academic requirements. Koleen is the second child of Joel B. and Myrna L. Bacud.
All three engineering graduates are reviewing for their respective government licensure examinations to become full fledged engineers. Mr. Aballa is working as a process engineer in an IT company in the Philippines. The STEMS70 scholarship provided each of the scholars with a monthly living allowance, tuition and school fees, as well as book, uniform, and other allowances.
PACES is assisted in administering the scholarships in the Philippines by CFC-ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor), an organization that provides programs and projects for the needy.
STEMS75 aims to provide full scholarships and financial support for students in Philippine state universities pursuing eligible 4 and 5 year academic degree programs in the STEM field. It will support talented, engaged and financially deserving college students in the upper bracket of their degree program with full scholarships that cover the tuition and other university fees such as text books, college project development costs and necessary transportation expenses. A reasonable monthly allowance will be provided to enable PACES scholars to concentrate on their studies free from financial worries.
Graduates of the STEMS75 scholarships will commit themselves to work in the Philippines for a number of years proportional to the duration of financial support received.
STEM Education in the Philippines
For the last half century, Philippine science high schools in major cities, regional science high schools in different provinces, and lately STEM high schools have provided secondary level curricula placing emphasis in mathematics, pure and applied sciences as well as research. Graduates of STEM programs produce experts needed for an innovative and competitive Philippine industry, as well as the teachers that propagate STEM programs in the educational sector itself.
While the Philippine government, through the Department of Science and Technology, and private industry funds full scholarships for university and post-graduate students taking up STEM academic programs, these resources are not adequate. Civic-minded citizens and companies with a strong culture of corporate social responsibility are called upon to join the national effort of promoting STEM graduates.