[Blueboard] Volunteers for Progress: Scholar inspired by Father's Message
Harvey S. Keh
hkeh at ateneo.edu
Sun Oct 30 07:19:21 PHT 2005
Scholar inspired by father's message
By Nikko Viquiera
The Manila Times, October 30,2005
When Ella Balsa was in high school, her father used to tell her to always
study hard. Education, he said, was the only treasure her parents, who
worked as a messenger and a laundrywoman, could give her. He told her the
value of hard work and how she must learn to stand on her own two feet.
Today, Ella's father's words remain with her as she enters her second
year as a scholar and a Pathways participant at the Assumption College.
Pathways to Higher Education is a nonprofit organization under the
Synergeia Foundation and the Office of the President at the Ateneo de
Manila University that seeks to help academically gifted but hard-up
public high-school students get into college.
Pathways believes that through good quality education the youth can
develop their potential to become leaders who are committed to
excellence, responsible, proactive and socially committed.
Through her experiences with Pathways, Ella has seen how a good education
can make one more confident and ready to face the world. She knows that a
good education can provide people with a better future. Ella takes this
belief in the value of education one step further. Someday, she hopes to
become a teacher and make a difference in the lives of young people. One
of her greatest heroes in life is her Grade Six adviser and teacher in
Math and English. "When I become a teacher, I want to be like her. She's
good not only at teaching but at giving personal advice to her students.
She was both a teacher and a friend," says Ella. Through Pathways and a
lot of hard work, Ella received a scholarship from Assumption College
with a course in Education Development, majoring in Early Childhood
Development. She hopes to take a master's degree in education after she
finishes college. Ella dreams of repaying her parents by giving them a
more comfortable life after their years of sacrifice and hard work.
She has also been inspired, by the values formation given by Pathways and
Assumption, to contribute to Philippine society's progress. In Pathways
she learned how children must better themselves not only for their
families but for their country.
In Assumption Ella is a member of socially aware organizations such as
the Assumption College Educators' Society (ACES), Scholars and Grantee of
the Assumption which does outreach programs, Militant and Responsible
Involvement of Assumption Students (MARIAS). One day she hopes to become
a missionary who will be sent to the poorest areas of the country to make
a difference in the lives of those who have been forgotten.
Perhaps Ella's biggest dream is to become the secretary of education. She
has seen how there is much room for improvement in the public education
system. She hopes to eliminate the culture of corruption and ease the
plight of teachers. In the end, she says, she just wants to be part of
the change that will provide better service to students who will one day
serve the country.
But all those are still in an unseen future. Today Ella works hard like
her parents to fulfill her dreams. Ella knows that she has been given the
opportunities she needs to get where she wants to go. All she has to do
now is work hard and never give up. Ella firmly believes that "if one
wants to get somewhere, one has to know how to get there, then work hard
and never give up."
For only P 1,600.00 per month you can help send more students like Ella to
If you would like to help or know more about Ateneo de Manila University's
Pathways to Higher Education, you may email them at pathways at admu.edu.ph ,
text them at 0920-9508171 or call them at (02) 920-0153. You may also
visit their website at www.pathwaysphilippines.blogspot.com
THE SEVEN SINS IN OUR WORLD
1. WEALTH WITHOUT WORK.
2. PLEASURE WITHOUT CONSCIENCE.
3. KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT CHARACTER.
4. COMMERCE WITHOUT MORALITY.
5. SCIENCE WITHOUT HUMANITY.
6. WORSHIP WITHOUT SACRIFICE.
7. POLITICS WITHOUT PRINCIPLES.
---- Mahatma Ghandi
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