Siam Cement Group (SCG) recently recognized their scholars during their annual turnover event for their Sharing The Dream Scholarship Program. After two years of holding the event online via Zoom, the eager scholars and SCG executives returned to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last September 15, Thursday.
“I feel very excited and proud of SCG that we resumed this kind of event to congratulate our scholarship students,” said Country Director Jakkrit Suwansilp.
Through their Sharing The Dream scholarship program, SCG envisions teaching their students how to become model citizens, who follow the company’s concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Good Governance) whenever applicable. Simply put, the company aspires that its scholarship program produces students and citizens who want to make a better community for themselves and others.
For years, SCG’s Sharing The Dream scholarship program supported students from Bulacan, Taguig, Batangas, and Manila schools as they achieved their dreams through education. Although challenging, SCG hopes that its scholars maintain their perseverance in life.
“Continue and follow your dreams,” Suwansilp advised the scholars. “Poverty can’t stop you from your dream. Please continue to dream, but not only dream. Please make it happen. Once you make it happen, you’ll be proud of yourself and make your parents, community, teacher, and country proud.”
Besides the Sharing The Dream scholarship program, SCG supports education in the Philippines in several aspects to further develop quality learning within the country. Another is the Adopt-A-School program, which began five to six years ago in partnership with DepEd.
Suwansilp explained that in the Adopt-A-School program, they work closely with DepEd to renovate schools in rural areas to provide a conducive learning environment for students. Moreover, they also have another program focused on nutrition by providing healthy meals to undernourished students.
An experience worth sharing
This 2022, DepEd recorded more than 27 million enrollees for the academic year 2022 to 2023, more than the previous year’s 26.3 million. These numbers show that despite challenges in society, the youth are eager to learn and work towards a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Poverty is one of the leading causes that keep many Filipinos from attending school. SCG’s scholarship program allowed thousands of students to surpass the struggle and pursue their desired careers.
“I was able to sustain my needs as a student. Aside from that, SCG helps me grow holistically. Last 2019, I was able to go to Thailand and experience meeting other scholars. I realized na sobrang halaga pala maka-meet ng ibang tao, especially from diverse cultures,” said Ly-ann Ferolino, a SCG scholar who graduated from the Batangas State University, Malvar Campus.
Ferolino is now a teacher who helps mold students to become the next global leaders. She believes that her success is by and for SCG.
Meanwhile, Lara Jhane Arellano, a current scholar from Upper Bicutan National High School, is grateful to SCG for their financial support, proving to her and many others that poverty can’t stop dreamers from achieving their goals.
Arellano added that SCG empowered her as a scholar because their support, through the Sharing The Dream program, made her feel capable of achieving her aspirations.
On learning and living
Learning lessons within the classroom isn’t the only way SCG saw its scholars grow. The scholarship program exposed the students to scenarios that tested their mettle.
Now that Ferolino works as a teacher, she constantly adjusts to her profession and community. Nonetheless, she finds the time to enjoy herself because she’s close to living the life she envisioned. Her sense of balance between living and achieving pushes her to become an efficient mentor who prioritizes her well-being.
While some find student life challenging, Arellano found a way to cope with the responsibilities on her shoulders, especially as a student leader. She draws strength, courage, and inspiration from those who believe in her. Although the road to graduation is still some ways before completion, Arellano has laid out a vision of what she hopes to be after she crosses that bridge.
“Years from now, I think I am the person I always wanted to be. I believe in myself na kakayanin ko kung sino man ako tomorrow,” she said.
Arellano also plans to obtain a degree in psychology someday. She shared how SCG inspired her to dream big and pursue that goal. As a scholar, Arellano faces expectations from the company and the people around her. Despite that, she knows how SCG nurtures and believes in her talent, which is why they chose her among their numerous scholarship recipients.
Implementing SCG’s ESG
SCG’s Sharing The Dream scholarship program also teaches its students about the concept of ESG. Each scholar has their way of practicing the tenet in their profession or life.
Ferolino serves as an example for her students. Since her trip to Thailand left a significant and positive mark on her, she drew inspiration from a project that hopes to teach students proper segregation. With her initiative, she hopes to extend SCG’s way of giving back to the community by instilling a sense of empathy within her students.
On the other hand, Arellano, who is a STEM student, always thinks of where she could practice her passion for the better. She often looks for organizations to join that coincide with the ESG concept.
SCG also employs many of its scholars to guide toward an ESG-centric path. Some of the companies under SCG include Mariwasa Siam Ceramics Inc., SCG Marketing Philippines, Inc., SCG Packaging or United Pulp and Paper Company, SCG BuilkOne Philippines, Inc., and SCG International Philippines, Inc. Thousands of Filipinos realized their dreams of a better life and future by receiving a quality education. SCG proves that poverty shouldn’t hinder students who want to learn more about making the world a better place for themselves and everyone else.