As another school year unfolds, four deserving underprivileged students will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of graduating from college through the GMA Network Scholarship Program.
The four GMA scholars who are graduating with honors by 2014 are Rheinlander Musni (Communication Arts, Angeles University Foundation), Jezza Christle Cajayon (Electronics and Communications Engineering, Don Bosco Technical College), Leonora Patricia de Guzman and Dan Gabriel Santos (Broadcast Communications, University of the Philippines-Diliman).
Upholding its corporate purpose of enriching the lives of Filipinos everywhere, GMA Network launched its scholarship program as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts in 2006.
Now on its seventh year, the program has been able to help 19 underprivileged students take a step towards realizing their dreams for the future.
Banking on the network’s formidable News and Public Affairs reputation and the innovative spirit of its Entertainment TV, the Kapuso Network turned to education as another means to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the Filipinos.
According to GMA Network chairman and CEO, Atty. Felipe Gozon, “Education is fundamental in any career or profession. Through these scholarships, we hope to uphold our promise of nurturing future media practitioners and molding them in the tradition of excellence that GMA Network is known for.”
The GMA Network Scholarship Program is open to fourth year college students taking up Broadcast Communication, Journalism, Communication Arts, Electronics and Communications Engineering and Electrical Engineering from GMA’s partner schools: University of the Philippines-Diliman, Don Bosco Technical College and Angeles University Foundation. It covers tuition and matriculation, books and thesis expenditures, as well as living allowance. “It’s a complete package and all the GMA scholars have to do is to show up for classes,” says GMA assistant vice president for Corporate Affairs, Ma. Teresa Pacis.
Meet the scholars
Rheinlander Musni, a consistent honors student and valedictorian during his high school years, stands to be the first of four siblings to earn a college degree.
Musni was in his second year at Angeles University Foundation when he was faced with the decision of transferring to another school due to financial constraints. It was then that the school’s program coordinator advised him to stay and introduced him to the GMA Network Scholarship Program. He was inspired to apply for the scholarship by the story of Shaine Aica Galang, a former GMA scholar who is now a Program Researcher in one of the Network’s Public Affairs programs.
“The honor to be recognized as one of the network’s scholars and the possible employment in the company motivated me to give it a shot,” says Musni.
Musni spent his internship at the Network’s News and Public Affairs Department prior to applying for the scholarship. He balances his academics with other school-related activities such as being the editor in chief for The Pioneer, Angeles University Foundation’s student publication. Musni proudly says he excels in academics despite difficulties in financing his education.
“The scholarship will be greatly beneficial as it offers remarkable privileges to a Communication student like me,” Musni shares.
Fellow scholar Jezza Christle Cajayon also considered transferring schools after learning the amount of her tuition fee at Don Bosco Technical College this semester. Her father has been working side jobs apart from being a photocopier operator and technician in order to support her schooling.
Despite their circumstances, her parents are determined to give Cajayon a good education, even if it means cutting costs around the house. It is this sacrifice that pushes Cajayon to finish her studies in order to have a bright future.
“The scholarship will help me finish my studies, prove myself and accomplish great things in my life. My success is the best way to show my gratitude to those who have helped me be who I want to be in the future. This is my goal and it comes within reach with the opportunity given to me by this scholarship,” Cajayon says.
Like the other candidates for the scholarship program, Dan Gabriel Santos also struggles financially while studying Broadcast Communication at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
But it is his optimism and perseverance, along with his parents’ determination to provide him the best education that keeps him going. With the scholarship, Santos feels blessed as it fulfills the dreams that he and his family have for the future.
“I am still steadfast and very much determined to transform these horrors to honors and reach my ultimate dream to become a broadcast journalist in the future. The scholarship will give me a better opportunity to hone my knowledge and skills so that I can fully realize my dream of becoming an ethical and responsible media practitioner, without worrying about financial constraints,” Santos asserts.
Also, Leonora Patricia De Guzman, also a Broadcast Communication student at the UP-Diliman, dreams of becoming a media practitioner, specifically at GMA Network. Even before entering UP, she already knew that being a GMA scholar would bring her closer to this goal.
De Guzman may not be an academic standout or a recipient of many academic accolades compared to the other applicants, but she is just as determined as the others in pursuing the scholarship.
“I believe that this achievement of being a GMA Network Scholar is just the first step—the beginning of my journey to being one of the Network’s promising media practitioners who will soon be a part of the great wave that will be used to create change in the Filipino society through broadcast media,” de Guzman shares.
With the GMA Network Scholarship Program, these students are now able to face a brighter future in their respective fields. Besides the scholarship program, GMA Network also gives the annual GMA Network Excellence Award to the most outstanding Mass Communication and Engineering graduates of its partner institutions.