A landfill of garbage so high and so dense had come to be known as Smokey Mountain. Toxic fumes from flammable wastes created air pollution and stench that engulfed the surrounding area called Payatas. In 2000, hundreds of scavengers tragically died, buried by a landslide of trash. It was permanently closed in 2010.
At a young age, Jonathan was a scavenger in the Payatas dumpsite. To help his family, he and his four siblings scoured the heaps of rubbish for items they could sell. He considered dropping out of school to be a full-time scavenger.
An outstanding student at the Payatas Elementary School, he was recommended to the ACSLV68 for scholarship. Jonathan stayed with the program until he earned his degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English.
“Because of the once in a lifetime opportunity that I was given, my whole life changed, including my family. I was able to help my three younger siblings finish college.” ~ Jonathan A.
Today, Jonathan is a licensed teacher and a devoted family man. He owns a home in Tarlac.
The ACSLV68 Scholarship Program began in 2005. Eight Grade VI students were chosen from the Payatas Elementary School. To date, 36 scholars have graduated, 6 are taking post-graduate courses while 14 are currently enrolled in various colleges and universities throughout Luzon. Unique to the program is a monthly meeting where each scholar has to speak about his or her achievements or challenges. This has helped develop self-confidence and public speaking skills.
In 2013, friends from Birds In Paradise invited the ACSLV68 group to join forces. Now on its 10th year, the BIRDS-IN-PARADISE Pop-up continues to be the major source of financial support for the ACSLV68 scholarship. The collaboration among the dedicated women is seamless, having been friends for more than 50 years.
The Pop-up features meticulously curated vintage items from various parts of the world. Regular clientele have come to expect elegant one-of-a-kind items. Each purchase they make contributes to the scholarship fund. They are helping ensure that financial limitations do not stand in the way of someone getting quality education.
Birds-In-Paradise Pop-Up will be on February 9-11 at the Makati Garden Club, Recoletos St., corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City. For more information on the Pop-up and the scholarship program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS +63 998.998.9195