SM Foundation, through its SM College Scholarship Program, enables its scholars and their families to have a 180-degree turn in their lives, completely breaking through the intergenerational poverty cycle.

Carrying their wits and aspirations in life, SM scholars develop their skills and talents, and get their college degrees from the partner colleges and universities of SMFI across the country. These are vital as they join the country’s workforce or later when they start their own businesses.

SM Foundation for its part ensures to provide assistance to the scholars all the way till they finish their tertiary education—including tuition, allowances, enhancement activities, part-time jobs, and exclusive job offer upon graduation.

Not even a pandemic can stop SMFI from helping economically challenged students to realize their dreams. One of SM’s scholar-graduates from last year 2020 shared in a kumustahan session how the program helped her and her family.


Rosemarie Lacsamana finished Bachelor of Science in Accountancy as Magna Cum Laude from the Holy Angel University in Pampanga. With her mother as a housewife and her father as an appliance technician, Rosemarie witnessed the struggles of her parents to make ends meet at an early age. This soon-to-be CPA experienced selling yema to her classmates and crops from their backyard to help her parents with their financial needs.

“Nagtapos po akong valedictorian sa high school pero alamkong hindi nito maga-guarantee na matutuloy ko ang pag-aaral sa college. Alam ko naman na yung mga magulangko ay susubukan akong pag-aralin pero natatakot ako nabaka halfway ay hindi nila kayanin at mapilitan akonghuminto,” Rosemarie recalled.

She added that she did her best to look for a scholarship and that’s when she found about the SM Scholarship Program. “Natatandaan ko pa noong exam, hawak ko yungrosaryo sa bulsa ko, talagang pinagdasal ko po namatanggap ako. Matapos po ang ilang linggong pagdarasalat paghihintay sa re-sulta, sobrang saya ko po at ng pamilyako noong tinawagan na ako ng Scholarship Team para sabihing nakapasa ako,” Rosemarie further shared.


“Noong nasa college na ako, talagang pinagbutihan ko sapag-aaral dahil hindi lahat nabibigyan ng ganitongopportunity. Pinatunayan ko po na talagang deserving akopara rito. Yung tiwala at tulong na ibinigay sa akin ng SM, hindi ko po sinayang,” she said.

Rosemarie mentioned that aside from the free tuition and allowances, she also enjoyed the various enrichment and recreational activities, as well as the part-time job opportunities given by SMFI: “Marami po akong natutunantuwing general assembly simula first year hanggang sapag-graduate ko. Pati summer job din, yun ang pinaka-memorable sa akin. Yung libreng “pa-movies” ng SMFI, talagang nilu-look forward ko. Sobrang saya kasi nae-experience namin yung mga bagay na hindi naman naminnararanasan palagi.”

Rosemarie was set to take the board exam for certified public accountants last year but because of the pandemic, it was put into a halt: “Yung original plan ko po ay after ng graduation, magte-take ako ng board exam. Kaya langdahil sa pandemic, kailangan ko na ng plan B. Kaya nag-try po muna akong mag-tutor ng English online habang nagre-review. Isa po yan sa mga natutunan ko sa SMFI, to use my time productively.” Once the situation permits, she will take the board exam and work as a fulltime accountant.

“Siguro kulang pa yung salitang salamat. Dakal pong salamat, SM, Tatang at Sy family! Proud akong sabihin nanaging SM scholar ako,” Rosemarie concluded.

Rosemarie is one of the more than 200 SM scholars to be recognized at the upcoming Virtual Presentation of SM College Scholar-Graduates Batches 2020 and 2021 on May 26.

SM Foundation, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993. To date, SMFI has produced more than 7,600 college and tech-voc scholar-graduates nationwide.


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