“Shocked”. “It feels surreal!”
These are the exact words of one the six Harris Memorial College Senior High School graduates who passed the rigorous Department of Science and Technology scholarship test.
One recipient reports being “overwhelmed” while another senior high student calls it a “real blessing” and totally “unexpected”. Still two others feel “very honored” to have won science and technology grants from the government. The sixth DOST scholar also made it to Ateneo de Manila University’s scholarship program, allowing her to study for free plus books and allowance.
Meet The DOST-SEI Scholars of Harris
Ocampo (Grade 12 STEM): From Doubts to Something Great
“I was so shocked when I saw my name as one of the new DOST scholars since I’ve doubted myself if I could make it.” This is the reaction of April Joy Ocampo, a Grade 12 STEM graduate. April Joy notes that there were so many examinees from all over the Philippines, and to win the grant “feels surreal.”
April never thought that she would be capable of achieving something great like this, which, she says also made her family very happy and friends proud of her.
Gonzales (Grade 12 STEM): Happy and Overwhelmed
Rey Junelle Gonzales, another DOST scholarship recipient, says the grant will be a great help for him and his family because he will be able to pursue his chosen college degree.
“I was very happy and overwhelmed at the same time because I was one of those who qualified to the DOST-SEI Scholarship,” added Rey, who finished his Grade 12 STEM strand at Harris.
Crisostomo (Grade 12 STEM): “A Real Blessing”
James Crisostomo, the former layout artist and editorial cartoonist of the Harris school paper, considers it an honor to have been able to qualify as a DOST scholar. In addition, this privilege will really help his family so much considering their lack of finances. “Also this gift is such a real blessing…the result was very unexpected!”
Crisostomo (Grade 12 HUMSS): “Not expecting myself to pass DOST”
Another DOST scholarship grantee is Joy Camil Crisostomo who feels so ecstatic for the blessing. “I feel extremely honored for I was not really expecting myself to pass the scholarship because I know many other senior high school students are better than me,” remarks Joy. Just like the rest, Joy says this grant is her way of getting into college because of their limited finances.
For those who did not make it, Joy urges them “to keep sailing until the end of the sea.”
Salonoy: Secure College Degree
Diana Mae Salonoy has two reasons to be happy about. First, she is one of the six DOST-SEI scholarship passers from Harris together with John Paul, Rey Junelle, James Carlo, Joy Camil, and April Joy. Second, she is also privileged to have been awarded a financial scholarship at Ateneo de Manila University where she will study for free (100% free tuition) and receive transportation allowance plus books.
Besorio (Grade 12 STEM): Prepared for College by Harris
John Paul Besorio, a member of the SHS glee club that has won 1st Runner-up in the TAPRISA contest, also made it to the DOST scholarship. Describing the grant as a blessing, SHS Science Club member says without this grant, he definitely would not be able to pursue his chosen college degree.
The Impact of Harris and its Quality of Education: Prepared Well
According to John Paul, Harris equipped him with the needed knowledge and skills to be awarded the government scholarship. “The school not only prepared me mentally but also emotionally/spiritually which will greatly help me when I start my college career.”
Indeed, these scholars are not only excellent students, but also grateful individuals. Rey, for one, is totally convinced that Harris taught him “to become not just only an academically excellent, but also a God-centered student.”
“The institution provides quality education and prepares its students towards a Christ-like service,” adds the SHS Chorale whose group has won second place in the TAPRISA (Taytay Private Schools Association) competitions.
James Carlo, the former head of the Harris audio visual production team, is going to miss the excellent facilities of the school such as the library and the computers, noting that the “classrooms are very convenient.” In addition, the “school engaged us in so much activities and events to hone our skills and to also worship the Lord.”
The UP Diliman Federalism OSSTP poster-making contest first place winner believes that the school “helped us to grow, to be independent, to learn proper time management and leadership,” hoping that Harris “will produce many more responsible, excellent and God-fearing students.”
For April Joy, being a STEM student at Harris is a great help because in class, “we were able to discuss most of the topics included in the examination.” She believes that she would not have been able to pass the DOST scholarship without the help of the school.
The 2020-21 grants, shares Diana, are finally making her dream of a good life come true, and she credits Harris for what she has accomplished. “I would like to thank the Harrisian community for helping me get my scholarships. What I’ve thought of as impossible became a reality because of their support.”
Joy Camil, for her part, is appreciative of the fact that the school “helped all the students in completing the requirements needed for their scholarship applications.”
Harris’ Teachers: The Difference That They Make
The teachers at Harris are praised for their wholehearted support to their students, especially the six scholars.
For instance, SHS coordinator, Mr. Xerxes B. Dulay, is credited for never faltering to give students the needed encouragement that played a major role in this quest of theirs, according to Joy Camil. “Aside from our parents, he was the one who persuaded us to try to apply for the scholarship.”
Mrs. Cleanor Ladia, the basic education principal, also made sure she boosted the spirits of the students, says Joy Camil. Rey Junelle, a Science Club member, agrees, saying his teachers “taught and guided me for the past two years.”
Teachers like Mr. Dulay and Ms. Wingilou Candelario, according to James, were instrumental in their achieving their goals in life. “We recognize and appreciate all the SHS teachers who lead their students to achieve their full potentials and be at their best,” relates James, who represented Harris in the Division Secondary Press Conference where he and his group garnered the overall first place.
He notes that the staff were tactful and supportive in following up their scholarship applications, making the process “much easier because of their help.” James also extends the same gratefulness to MJ Andes and Dr. Cristina Mañabat, president of Harris, who ensured “that we showcase our passion and talents.”
As for Diana, her teachers helped her become what she is now. Because of them, “I am one step closer towards achieving my dreams.”
April feels the same thing, saying that it was Mr. Dulay who motivated the students to apply for the scholarship. Furthermore, she reveals that “he encouraged us to try by sharing his knowledge”. She is thankful to all of her teachers who instilled in her knowledge and wisdom that she says she will be able to treasure and apply wherever she goes.
The Science Club secretary is very thankful to the school officials and staff for the support and guidance they’ve given her. Completing the requirements needed, she recalls, was made possible by the staff and teachers. It is her wish that more and more students will realize this important role of Harris in making their dreams come true.
John Paul, a member of the Men’s Volleyball Team that won second place in the TAPRISA events, has only a heart that overflows with thanksgiving. “I would like to thank the administration, department coordinators, and faculty for the support they have extended. The same goes to my adviser and classmates who helped me win this scholarship. THANK YOU HMC!” (RIS)