July 4 is a red-letter day in American history, being Independence Day.
For the Ayala Coop’s APEC (Affordable Private Education Center) advocacy, it also turned out to be a red-letter day as it was the day when four more APEC scholars under the program signed an agreement with the Coop, completing the roster of 20 scholars the Coop committed to send to school as part of the program that it launched during its 20th anniversary in 2015.
The four – Lance Gabriel Amon, John Chris Buenaventura, Samantha Calamiong and Monica Danielle Celis – composed Batch 3 of the Coop’s list of APEC scholars, following the first batch of seven who made the program in 2015 and the second batch of 10 who made it last year.
Amon would enter APEC Lipa, Buenaventura would enroll at APEC Ortigas Extension, Calamiong would go to APEC Las Piñas, and Celis would enter APEC Marikina Heights.
Amon is the son of Joselyn Amon of Qualimed, Buenaventura is the son of Joana Buenaventura of Bank of the Philippine Islands, Calamiong is the daughter of Christopher Calamiong of Laguna Water, and Celis is the daughter of Marnold Celis of Manila Water.
The program is actually intended for children of employees of Ayala Group subsidiaries who are active members of the Coop as part of the latter’s “commitment to transform Filipino lives through affordable high-quality education.”
The scholars underwent screening as well as diagnostics tests administered by the APEC and were eventually chosen on the basis of their test results. Conducting the screening was a panel composed of representatives from the Ayala Coop, Ayala Foundation and the APEC.
The four new scholars signed their scholarship contracts together with their parents last July 4 at the Mabuhay Function Room of Habitat Philippines at 111 Paseo de Roxas Building in Makati, with Ayala Coop General Manager Dina Orosa representing the Coop and the Coop’s Finance and Administration Head Jenny Cura and AFI’s Senior Director and Head of Programs Joanna Duarte acting as witness.
The scholarship is actually for the entire high school but is renewable annually, subject to the children’s fulfilling the program’s requirements in terms of academic performance and deportment.
As part of the agreement, the scholars have to maintain a grade of “4” and above in all subjects in every quarter. Anyone who gets a grade below that would be put on probation, and anyone who gets such a grade for two consecutive quarters will see his or her scholarship being automatically terminated.
During the signing rites, the Coop also honored four of its APEC scholars by rewarding each of them with a P2,000 cash gift for getting the highest average grade of “6” during the last school year.
The four are Grade 8 students Joselle Araja and Elise Samantha Cerbolles, both of whom were part of Batch 1, and Grade 7 students Lyje Adame and Mylene Faro, who entered the program with Batch 2.
All four and their parents were present and also received the Coop’s school kits.
Among the guests during the program that was organized and hosted by AFI’s Kathleen Jan Plandano were the APEC’s Melanie Faigane and Francis Piñon as well as members of the Coop’s Mancom.
The Coop launched the search for 20 children who deserved and qualified for the APEC scholarship in 2015, with the number symbolizing the Coop’s 20th anniversary that year. The Coop has partnered with AFI to oversee the administration of the program.
The APEC is a joint venture between Ayala Corporation and United Kingdom-based Pearson through its Pearson Affordable Learning Fund. The APEC schools’ curriculum follows the Department of Education’s K-12 program. The APEC curriculum has also been enhanced with international standards.