[Blueboard] Pathways Feature at the Philippine Star
cvillanueva at ateneo.edu
cvillanueva at ateneo.edu
Thu Aug 17 08:54:48 PHT 2006
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Good day! :) Hope you have the time to read our feature story at The
Philippine Star today:
You may also read the article below.
Making a difference (Even if you're not Warren Buffet)
PEOPLE By Joanne Rae M. Ramirez
The Philippine STAR 08/17/2006
Good intentions are like cold dough on a table, waiting for something to
enable it to rise and amount to something -- be it a mouthwatering
ensaymada or a basic pan de sal. Most of us have dough somewhere in the
kitchens of our soul. Like a baker with brioche in her mind, we have a
picture of what we want our good intentions to amount to -- a safer
community, help for streetkids, a cleaner environment, a better world.
But often, it just sits there, a good intention waiting to rise to its
And then there are those who transform their good intentions into concrete
reality, searching for, and finding that missing ingredient that makes all
Harvey Keh is just a little past the quarter century of his life, and yet
he has already enabled hundreds of poor high school students to have a
shot at a college education. Jesuit-educated Harvey (Xavier School in
Greenhills for elementary and high school and Ateneo de Manila for
college) founded Pathways to Higher Education in April 2002, as a new
education development program under the Office of the President of the
Ateneo de Manila University.
"Since we started in 2002, 15 students have graduated from college and
there are currently more than 350 college students from all over the
Philippines that are beneficiaries of Pathways," says Harvey, now a
fellow at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati.
"We are currently preparing more than 1,200 public high school students
from all over the Philippines to go to college," adds Harvey, who once
taught Theology to college sophomores at the Ateneo.
One of Pathways' more famous beneficiaries is Archie Dolit, a son of a
taho vendor and a lavandera, who is now on his fourth year as a
Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) major at the Ateneo.
Another beneficiary of Pathways is Mary Herbel Santiago, probably the
first ever student from the depressed community of Payatas, Quezon City
to make it to Ateneo de Manila as a full scholar. She is now a freshman
"One of our other pioneer students is Michelle Francisco, now on her
Senior Year in Miriam College. Just recently, Michelle was chosen as one
of the delegates to the very prestigious Ayala Young Leaders Congress
(AYLC). Finally, one more student from our pioneer batch that we are very
proud of is Bernie Nebres, who is also from Payatas and is the only one
among all his siblings to have entered college. Bernie will become a
teacher when he obtains his Education degree from Centro Escolar
University in March 2007," Harvey says proudly. He recently set up a new
foundation (AHON Foundation), which is committed to building public
school libraries all over the Philippines. They built their first public
school library at the Industrial Valley Elementary School in Marikina
I asked him from where he drew the inspiration to be a doer and an
"I've always told people that I live by the motto that 'To Whom Much is
Given, Much is Expected'. Coming from a middle class family and being
able to study at very good schools (Xavier School and Ateneo de Manila),
I thought it was about time that I give back and try to provide better
opportunities to deserving students to get a better chance to live a good
life through education. I've always said as well that my parents are my
greatest inspiration, my mom and my dad have always reminded me how
important education is and at the same time they constantly remind me how
important it is to help others especially those is need," says Harvey,
whose other role models are Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J.
and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo.
Most of us try to "give back" when we're pretty settled in life. Often we
want the Warren Buffets and the John Gokongweis of this world to be the
tidal wave that will change the landscape of poverty. But
good-old-middle-class us? I think most of us have good intentions. Yes,
I salute you, Harvey. * * *
Among the most recent benefactors of Pathways is the KC de Venecia
Foundation. Forty students from poor families in Metro Manila are now
assured of their college education -- thanks to the foundation and
KC was the youngest daughter of Speaker Joe de Venecia and wife Gina. She
perished in a fire that gutted their home in Dasmariñas Village on Dec.
16, 2004. In her memory, the De Venecia family has put up a foundation
that will help young students fulfill their dreams.
As a young girl, KC was into arts and sciences. She started painting at
the age of five, and was keen on taking a course related to the same
field. She was only in her third year in high school at the International
School when she died. After she died, her parents received the cash value
of KC's education plan, which they bought for her in the US when she was
a baby. Joe and Gina felt that the money should go to poor students who
desire, but cannot afford, a college education.
Last Aug. 1, KC's mother Gina de Venecia and her brother Christopher,
president of the KC de Venecia Foundation, signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) with Pathways that guaranteed the college scholarship
of 40 students.
This first batch of KC scholars were chosen by Pathways. The MOU signing
took place at the Ateneo, where Christopher is on his third year of
college. Incidentally, his dad, Speaker de Venecia, is also an alumnus of
Present during the MOU signing were the family, relatives and friends of
KC, while Pathways was represented by its founder Harvey Keh, acting
director Solvie Nubla and Ateneo president Father Nebres, who is also
The KC de Venecia Foundation is composed of KC's family and friends. Her
mom Gina as the CEO is assisted by her brother Christopher and sister
Carissa Cruz Evangelista. KC's cousin lawyer Ernest Maceda is the
corporate secretary while brother Ipe Cruz, cousins Jodel Ampil, JM
Nakpil, Camella Isabel de Venecia, Maria Fredelyn Sta. Ana, Patricia
Claire Perez and best friend Harvey Alumisin compose the board of
trustees. * * *
It takes more than just moguls like Buffet, Gates and Gokongwei,
superstars like Pitt and Jolie and public servants like the De Venecias
to make this world a better place. We who rise out of bed every morning
to eke out a living can help prepare others to make theirs.
(Pathways to Higher Education may be reached at tel. # 426-6001 loc.
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