Education · Scholarship · SM · Students · Women

SM Scholars: Story of Kristin

SMFI LogoEducation is an essential part of every child’s growth. It nurtures brain and heart on life’s whereabouts. When I graduated college, I became a better professional. My specialty furthers all major skills I have. Imagine each child is getting right education. Our world would be a better place.

Never have I known that SM (Supermalls) grant scholarships, advocates sustainability and volunteerism. My perception over them is an ‘economic crusher’ to small industries and an ‘ideal shop mall’ to anyone. Now I change my perspective after knowing them more.SM Foundation Inc., is the SM Group of Companies’ partner in helping people since 1993.

Owner of SM Prime Holdings Henry Sy and his wife Felicidad Sy attend the opening ceremony of the new Asia Mall in Manila
Owner of SM Prime Holdings Henry Sy and his wife Felicidad Sy

It began from HENRY SY’ golden heart in helping a child achieve schooling and funding for his family. SM Foundation Inc. inspires nation to grow and achieve dreams. They extends a hand particularly to the poor by supporting education, health, agriculture, spiritual and many more.

The SM Scholarship Program has produced thousands of graduates already. They are employed now within their chosen fields. The program is offered to any graduating fourth year high students from public high school.

Qualifications include that a student must average at least 88% in second and third grading period. Has a household income of 150,000 pesos or less per year. Full matriculation fees and monthly stipend are given to qualified scholars. Summer break etc at SM Malls are given to them too. Degrees offered are Computer Science, some Engineering courses, Accountancy, Information Technology and more.

Forms are available at The SM Stores and SM Supermarkets or visit for more information.

Last May 20, 2016, the SM Foundation Inc. lauded its new batch of SM scholar graduates at the SMX Convention, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Proud parents, graduates, guests and The SM Group have attended the program. Inside the four-walled room is the shimmering glory on each graduate’s eyes. Parents are joyous as their child is being applauded at the stage. Names of graduates are also imprinted in the stage backdrop. I notice how these graduates have surpassed challenges together with SM Foundation. Every graduate has a story.

SM Scholar_MOA_2
(on single photo) Ms. Kristin Hernan, who is an SM Scholar graduate.

I had a chance to approach one of the scholars. I interviewed Ms. Kristin Hernan who garnered a Bachelor of Education Major in English course. Her eyes wet as I began to ask. She struggles in everyday expenses. Sometimes she only eats once a day. She never thought she can survive.

Problems drag most people down. But for Kristin, she magnifies how problems can improve your horrendous situation. She manipulates trouble into a new resolution.

Her hometown is located at Rosario, Batangas. They are three in siblings. She graduated high school at the Rosario National High School. Year 2012 after high school, her father died at the age of 75 years old. Her mom remarried after few years. She now stands on her own.

She acquires 1000-peso monthly share which is divided on dormitory fee, transportation and food. She budgets as best as she could. Burden only lessened when she got support from the SM Group and other people. Also aided by her boyfriend, friends and neighbors, she manage to study smarter. Despite of hurdles, she did not give up.

Fortunately chosen as one of the Kabayan Ten Outstanding Public School Students (TOPS) awardee, she became an SM Foundation Scholarship recipient as well. She has never been happier. Her hope become higher. Without SM Foundation Inc., her commencement exercises dream will not be attainable.

She maintains a General Weighted Average (GWA) of at least 85% and excels on her subjects. Even if she has family concerns, she choose to work it out wisely. She balances priority, part-time work, passion for music and reading books while grooming herself everyday. Her inspiration: “Never question God when you’re sad because you never question him when you’re glad.” A very powerful quote she had given me.Her spirituality is indeed encouraging.

She wear a black bolero coat with v-shaped neck blouse during the ceremony. Her aura doesn’t reflect her pain because she is strong. She then smiled at me saying “I finally graduated!” I felt her success. I added to ask where she is five years from now. She responded “I wanted to teach children not only education but true value and love. I wanted to be a good example to my family, students and to anyone.”

Gone are the stormy days of her early life. Whatever future may cast on her, she is left unshaken and is ready to weaken problems.


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