After the graduation of SM Foundation's first batch from Tacloban City Leyte, another 100 Dualtech scholars were among 1,000 new beneficiaries in technical and vocational (Tech-Voc) education in 2016.
On September 04, 2016, SM Foundation invited partner technical schools on its first Tech-Voc general assembly in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. From its usual number of 100 scholars annualy, SM made it to 1,000 in 2016 as they believe that graduates of Tech-Voc get immediate jobs and have bigger opportunity to be uplifted from poverty. SM Group of Companies also sees great demand for skilled manpower in the country and abroad.
The first batch of Dualtech scholars who all got employed after their training attended to thank their benefactor, Mr. Harley Sy, President of SM, for his generous assistance after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte in 2013.
The event started with Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Don Bosco priests. Ms. Linda Atayde, Executive Director, gave a talk about SM Group of Companies and the birth of SM Foundation which directed its focus on education. Through scholarship grants, SM Foundation opens better career opportunities to deserving students.
Each trainee from the partner schools gave testimony about their life and the help of scholarship grants given by SM Foundation. For Dualtech, Mr. Royce Bagro, who is now one of the Learning Facilitators of Dualtech spoke to the audience. He shared, “Ako ang panganay sa magkakapatid. Ako ang pinagkatiwalaan ng aking magulang na makapagtapos pero ako iyong nagloko. Sinabi ko sa aking magulang na babawi ako para mapasaya ko sila”. The biggest turning point was during Typhoon Yolanda which many families suffered including them. He heard that Dualtech Center offered scholarship in Electromechanics Technology. He took the chance to apply and then was accepted. During his training at Dualtech and AG&P in Bauan Batangas, he said, “Sa training ko natutunan kung paano magtyaga sa isang bagay at magkaroon ng maraming skills. Sa AG&P, nakakuha ako ng background sa welding na pang international ang standards”
Mr. Harley Sy personally visited Dualtech in 2014 and recommended to be a partner school of SM Foundation. He addressed all the scholars that schools are selected by their group whom they believe to have great impact to the welfare of many scholars. “You [scholars] are in good hands. You have good chance to do well”, he said. Mr. Sy commended Mr. Bagro for his confidence which was developed through skills training and values formation of Dualtech. He also shared “You have so much to do and so much to achieve. Yet, so much challenges and problems to face and it is part of life. Be positive, learn to deal with it and have the ability to find solutions. I am convinced with Tech-Voc program because I deal with a lot of people na hindi kayang makagraduate sa college but very successful. Kapag may problema, they look for solutions and when you solve problem, you will have more value”
After the inspiring talk, Mr. Sy gave a 3-D movie screening treat in I-Max Theater, SM Mall of Asia.
“People helping People” is the founding principle of SM Foundation which is the heart of SM Group of Companies. They serve by supporting and empowering communities through education, healthcare, disaster response, shelter, environmental programs, care for persons with special needs, and farmer’s training. Established in 1983 by Henry Sy Sr and Felicidad Sy, they focused on social inclusion by nurturing and caring for underserved communities where SM is present.