IN LAOAG, Ilocos Norte, high school student Charm Olive Batara waits for the day she can be a full-fledged computer engineer.
“I will always study hard to reach my dreams,” Batara said.
In Bago City in Negros Occidental, elementary student Danica Montanez is still years away from pursuing a college education. But she is hopeful she will achieve her dream.
Beneficiaries of the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation, the students and their parents are confident they are facing a brighter future.
Denia Montanez’s mother said, “Parents should make their children’s education a priority. Poverty is not a hindrance to getting quality education.”
The stories of Batara and Montanez were told during the recent Inquirer Newsboy Foundation awarding ceremony for scholars. They and the other grantees demonstrated enthusiasm, industry, discipline and eagerness to finish their studies.
Since the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation was established in 1993, close to 10,000 scholars have been supported.
To support the grants, part of the price of every newspaper sold is given to foundation as monthly stipends.
In 1996, the foundation expanded its educational assistance program to include college scholarships. Each news dealer can nominate a scholar, who should be in the top 10 of his/her class or a close relative of a newsboy.
Newsboy Foundation vice president and treasurer Rene R. Reinoso said a newsboy was important in propagating the Inquirer brand by selling newspapers and in raising future leaders.
Reinoso said, “It gives us a sense of fulfillment that we are celebrating a milestone. Newsboys/newsgirls are all part of the community. They are trying to earn a decent living by selling newspapers.”
The foundation started recently giving cash awards and plaques at the end of every academic year to the most outstanding graduates, both in grade and high schools. The awards were given across the Philippines, in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
“These scholars have their own wonderful, tearjerker stories of their experiences as part of the Newsboy Foundation and how they were able to develop self-confidence and passion for learning,” Reinoso said.
Already feeling “very privileged and touched” for getting a scholarship, Gizelle Parcia, a high school awardee this year, said she thanked God that there were organizations like the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation that helped finance people’s studies.
Parcia thanked her mother for introducing her to the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation. She said her mother Perlita also encouraged her to do her best always.
Newsboy Foundation chair Marixi Prieto gave the scholars words of encouragement. “Do your best in everything you do and, most importantly, believe in yourself that you are capable of reaching great heights,” Prieto said.
Dealer-trustee for the Visayas and Mindanao Eduardo Clavero reminded the scholars’ parents to give their children quality time always and to attend to the youngsters’ needs and to guide them in their studies.
Newsboy Foundation president Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez thanked the scholars’ parents, the scholars and the dealers. “We cannot have done it without you. Let’s all celebrate the success of our graduates,” she said.
There was much to celebrate after 22 years since the Newsboy Foundation started. The foundation showed it was capable of delivering results with the involvement of communities. But, after 22 years, so much still needs to be done by the Newsboy Foundation.