The Aboitiz Group, through its social development arm Aboitiz Foundation, has continued assisting nearly 860 students in secondary and tertiary levels in need of financial aid through its scholarship program amidst the disruption caused by the pandemic to education systems worldwide.
Aside from its usual financial assistance, the foundation allowed monthly allowances to be converted to laptop subsidy for students who have limited means to purchase tools for a ‘hybrid’ type or online schooling.
Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth L. Marasigan said the foundation has to innovate to provide relevant support to its scholars especially at this unusual time.
The Foundation recently launched the Aboitiz Scholarship Portal, a one-stop hub for its scholars that contains updates, advisories, learning materials, and a scholars’ profile dashboard. This innovation is how the scholarship program adapts to the new normal of doing transactions and engagements online.
“As the world continues to change due to the pandemic, Aboitiz Foundation also made its education programs adapt by establishing online platforms, and conducting online learning sessions that will keep our scholars stay connected, engaged, and informed,” she noted.
The Aboitiz scholars also gathered online for the Aboitiz Beyond Classrooms (ABC) Learning Series, the first virtual general assembly of its scholars last August 19. The event was attended by over 280 high school and college scholars in Metro Manila and Cebu via YouTube livestream.
”The session taught us to see weakness as our strengths and channel positivism in our mindset In whatever situations we face, we should always instill a positive and flexible outlook.” said Aboitiz scholar Jarixa Balbuena, an incoming Grade 12 student at Southwestern University.
The virtual general assembly aimed to strengthen the engagement of scholars, and prepare them in welcoming the new normal in their academic life. For this school year, the scholars attended a learning session with the topic “Building Resilience for a Flourishing New Normal” with Dr. Sheila Marie Hocson, the former President of the Philippine Guidance and Counselling Association (PGCA).
The webinar taught scholars to learn and capitalize on strengths that can help them navigate through online learning and studying at home. The participants were also asked to identify sources of inspiration that can be their anchor as they face the adversities and challenges brought by the pandemic.
“Thank you Aboitiz scholars for being so active and engaged in our discussion. You are very fortunate that you have your Aboitiz family who supports and gives interventions such as this online learning session that will guide you as you enter this new normal. By knowing your strengths, you can make the most out of your potential even in times of uncertainty,” shared by Dr. Hocson.
Since the Aboitiz Senior High School Financial Assistance Program started in 2003, it has benefited nearly 3,000 students nationwide, while the Aboitiz College Scholarship Program has supported 970 scholars since its inception.
Over the years, the Aboitiz Foundation has implemented various education programs including school building donations, upgrading of school facilities, scholarships and teacher trainings, and many other interventions that has benefitted over 39,0000 students in 2019.