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Please help. Registration's MAY-JUNE 2014

Please help. Registration’s MAY-JUNE 2014

Thank you for browsing our site. May we count on your help? Please consider donating $10 dollars by opening a monthly allotment using our secure credit card portal.

We highly recommend the allotment process as it is easier on your budgeting. Monthly payments are automatically processed by the secure virtual credit card portal.

If you like, you can also write your check to the Scholarship Fund and send it to:

SAS Ai Treasurer
43096 Branower St.
Ashton, VA 20147

 

Your $10 dollar donation – what it does

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Scholars working

They finally get to use a laptop computer

Your $10 dollar monthly allotment pays for the total cost of 1.5 days of school for one student that covers the following:

  • Tuition fee
  • Books and publications
  • School uniforms
  • School supplies
  • Computer lab fee
  • Cost of a USB storage stick
  • Supervised outside classroom activities

The kids finally get to use a computer. With your generous donations we purchased a refurbished laptop and received a donated desktop unit.

Our program includes mentoring and a virtual classroom. Our students do supervised Internet research work. Please continue to support our mission to help these bright kids who come from poor families finish high school via financial aid. Go to our secure portal DONATE NOW and open your $10 dollar monthly allotment.

 

Ina Gabaldon

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Ina Gabaldon with her parents

Ina Gabaldon with her parents

Four years ago, we processed Ina’s application for financial aid to attend and finish high school at St Augustine School.

We investigated her family’s financial need, made certain of her parent’s commitment to allocating time for her to study, and inspected the general condition of her home and immediate surroundings.

The second part of the qualification process was Ina’s academic preparation, proven by her elementary school grade point average and the strength of her home room teacher’s recommendation.Gabaldon

Ina met both basic requirements to apply for financial aid consideration. In the following pre-tests, one-on-one interviews and essay writing phases, Ina did very well. She made it to the final list of scholars that year.

Four years have passed since Ina first signed her high school contract with SAS Ai. Here’s Ina (right) beaming with pride as she walked across that graduation stage to receive her high school diploma.

We join Ina in feeling proud of her accomplishment. We thank our many benefactors, generous donors who give to the high school fund. It is solely through your generous donations that we can continue to help bright students like Ina, who come from disadvantaged families finish high school.

 

We Beg You

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We are on our knees

We are on our knees

“If you want something bad enough, you can endure rejection; begging is not demeaning.” We are begging for help. For the sake of our kids’ schooling we are down on our knees.

Registration day 2014 is upon us. The registrar tersely reminds us we can’t enroll our kids without the tuition paid up front. We want nothing more than to enroll our kids for school year 2014.

Please help us with the tuition. You can open a $10 dollar monthly allotment – a sum that won’t break the bank. Go to our DONATE NOW page and transact your $10 dollar monthly allotment.

We are at the 11th hour of our fund-raising drive. Please be generous.

A Call for Help

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Rocel Ann

Rocel Ann Vinluan – SAS Ai

Hello. I’m Rocel Ann Vinluan, a junior high school student at St Augustine School in the town of Tagudin, province of Ilocos Sur, in the Philippines. I am one among several kids who come from disadvantaged families being helped by SAS Alumni International (SAS Ai) finish high school. Beginning this school year 2014, three more kids – bright kids – are starting high school under the same financial aid program I am in.

My father left us several years ago to work overseas. We never heard from him again. He never sent any money to support us. My mother hired out as a maid for a family in the city, leaving me and my siblings to live with my grandmother. My grandmother has a junkyard and she sells old tires, engine parts, and used corrugated roofing. I help her out by cleaning the house, doing the laundry, baby-sitting my younger siblings and doing the janitorial work around the junkyard. I earn my keep and grandma is very happy with my work.

My mother tells us she sews dresses at night for extra income. I get a daily allowance of PhP5.00 (five Philippine pesos, or 12 cents USD). It’s enough for a small sandwich for my lunch. Daily I walk the 2 kilometers to school and back. I cannot afford the tricycle fare. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to attend high school.

SAS Ai relies solely on public donations to fund our schooling. They need financial donations badly to keep the program going. Any amount you wish to donate helps. Your donation of $50 dollars (USD) pays for a month of high school for one student. To donate please click this link DONATE NOW. Thank you..

 

Preparing the Soil for Planting


How straight are your furrows?

How straight are your furrows?

My father, who loved to work the land growing cash crops, used to say, “When you plow the field, never look back to keep your furrows straight.” Over time I have reflected on his words and I’ve come up with my interpretation using it as a metaphor.

Progress connotes looking ahead in a forward direction being aware of the side views. Those who keep looking back – either because of nostalgia, or misplaced sentimentality, or wishing things could be as they used to be – seem to stagnate and languish. In the Army when the drill instructor barks, “Mark Time,” the men march in place, never making forward progress. Looking back is like marking time. It’s the hamster on a treadmill routine. Also, those who move forward while looking back usually end up in the ditch or in a collision.

Preparing the field for planting is what we do when we help these bright kids who come from poor families get a high school education thru financial help. We inculcate in them education as an important change agent or as a way to achieve freedom. Their young, receptive, and eager-to-learn minds, are like the fertile fields. We plow the furrows straight, not crooked – readying them for planting the seeds of knowledge and wisdom. We keep our gaze set to the future, looking ahead and forward, exemplifying how important is self-discipline and avoiding distraction.

Our bright kids need financial help badly to finish high school. Won’t you please help by DONATING to the scholarship fund? Thank you.

Some Things Don’t Change


IndiaFruitStandWQOkay you are here. Well, what do you think?

Without zooming in to the picture and closely investigating the pasted bills on the walls, can you tell where this fruit stand is just by looking at the bananas, the structure itself and the bicycle and motorcycle in front? You bet you can.

I looked at this picture and immediately jumped on choice (a) Irisan road to Baguio City. These fruit stands dot the roadside from Bauang, Naguilian to Moonglo, to Irisan and so on. The structure looks the same, the thatched nipa roof is the same, the vegetation is the same. You get the picture. But, just to keep things straight, this fruit stand is in India. Yes, India. It could be in Bangalore, Madras, or even close to the Taj Mahal.

And for that matter, this fruit stand could be in Ulan Bator, Mandalay, the Silk Road, or it could even be in Sr i-langka or Java. I saw a fruit stand just like it in Costa Rica up on a mountain road somewhere towards San Jose. This same type of fruit stand can be found in many parts of the Philippines, in Nueva Ecija, Abra, Sorsogon, Cagayan de Oro. You can find this fruit stand in the outskirts of Singapore, or in the New Territories outside Kowloon.

There are some things that don’t change. In my experience, when I come to a place or structure that shares the same features of the places and buildings reminding me of home I feel a strange sense of déjà vu. The sensation is strange because you know you stand on strange soil yet your eyes perceive familiar sights. The atmosphere suddenly becomes charged with a mixture of nostalgia, homesickness, maudlin and sentimental emotions. There you stand, transfixed by your surroundings in a timeless moment of eternity.

SAS Personnel Day Celebration


SASPersonnelDayWhen I attended St Augustine School back in the ’50s it was a gender segregated school. By this I mean the girls had their buildings and grounds and the boys had the church plaza and their boy’s department building by the belfry. It was a different world. A world without girls is not a natural world. To this day as I reflect on those bygone days of high school, I can conclude that gender segregation deprived us boys of an opportunity to develop social skills specially with the opposite sex.

But hey, that’s neither here nor there, and besides this is not the subject of this piece. The only SAS personnel when I attended SAS were the ladies who helped the Sisters in the convent. I remember one of them and her name was Agatuna. She spoke very little English and some disjointed Ilocano. But she managed to get work done from us kids in the book binding trade. She assisted Mother Urban in managing the book returns, refurbishment and rebinding, and text book re-issuance at the beginning of the school year.

We were just kids, day dreamers and playful boys who knew nothing about life and reality. We traipsed through high school and worked revitalizing those books out of sheer fear of Mother Urban who had a mustache and a goatee. She was tough. One look from her spelled spiritual death you had to go see Father Carlos to get back into the church’s good graces. Agatuna was the “good cop” in that Mother Urban-Agatuna tandem. Agatuna suffered much from our juvenile derision and mild rebellion but she got the work done by threatening to report us to Mother Urban for our sloppy work.

In my memories, Agatuna, SAS Personnel of long ago did a splendid job helping the Nuns run the daily operations at St Augustine School. In many ways she counseled us, she showed us how to refurbish the books properly, showed us true loyalty and respect for authority, exemplified for us the spirit of reverence for the sacred; she showed us self-discipline. I am grateful for the time I worked under Agatuna’s tutelage and although she didn’t have a degree in Psychology she always knew how to give public recognition for a job well done and how to criticize in private. That experience, to me, has proved to be invaluable.

Thank you SAS personnel for continuing with the excellent tradition of service.