School’s Around the Corner – by Carla Nicole Garcia

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Carla Nicole Garcia, 9th grade Junior High School student

Monday, August 6, 2018 – First day of school at SAS for school year 2018-19.

I am so very excited to go back to school after the long summer vacation and layover.

The first thing I will do is find my best friend Lorraine. I haven’t seen nor heard from her since the last school year ended.

Lorraine is such a nice, caring, thoughtful, and great person. To say I missed her a lot during vacation is putting it lightly. She’s so much fun to be with.

In addition to meeting old classmates, teachers, and friends, I want to meet new classmates and new teachers.

I feel a bit nervous. 9th grade… junior high school – wow. I am in the big leagues now. Middle school was great but this – this will take some getting used to.

Let’s see.

I expect to see my SAS Ai batchmates:  Maxin Angelo Musni and Alexis Kyla Costales. Kyla joined the SAS Ai program this year. Maxin and I joined the program last year. We’ll all be in the 9th grade together.

My task and mission is to get to know both of them better, build friendships and establish good camaraderie with them. I will do the same with the other scholars in the SAS Ai program.

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“Please leave my paws alone… thank you.”

My summer vacation was largely spent helping my parents at home, doing daily chores and taking care of the household pets. Water has to be fetched daily from the well. The water well lies a good hundred yards one way away. I did that daily, filling huge water container reservoirs to the brim.

I fed our two dogs and three cats, groomed the dogs and gave the cats a quick manicure. The cats protested (of course). The dogs rejoiced and howled with glee upon seeing the cats suffer mis-perceived indignities and light discomfort.

 

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“Did it hurt when they cut your nails?”

But, as they say, “life goes on and must go on.” I am getting more and more focused on school. And that is where I’ll be until Monday comes along!

 

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Still Excited About the Program


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President & CEO, Ms Melanie P Florentino

A note from our President & CEO, Ms Melanie P Florentino, MAEd, on our SAS AI financial aid and outreach program.

 

She is talking about the degree of dedication and commitment practiced and displayed by members of the board. More specifically she speaks of her own personal feelings about being a part of SAS Ai after all these years:


“The excitement and joy I now feel are actually more intense compared to how I felt when we first started the program. And these feelings are further intensified during year-end recognition and awards ceremonies. Nothing compares to seeing and hearing from our scholars and their parents, how happy and proud, and at the same time grateful for SAS Ai and all the kind and generous people behind the organization.

This is a testament that SAS Ai is true to its mission of helping, not only disadvantaged kids, but kids who are driven to excel and succeed in their high school studies. We are not asking anything in return from them, but I think they have paid off more than enough with their exemplary academic achievements, personal growth, and social development.

It’s always a humbling experience to participate in the various activities we do with our students. I am forever thankful for this honor and privilege of being part of SAS Ai.”

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With hard hat on, she is on the job and enjoying it.

Our President & CEO, Ms Melanie P Florentino, MAEd, remains one of the staunchest supporters and strongest advocates for the financial aid program. We offer this outreach to deserving students in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur and neighboring townships because we believe Education is Freedom.

We believe that it would be a crime to waste a brilliant mind.

SAS Ai, Inc. is a non-profit organization recognized by the IRS under the 501(c)(3) tax code. All donations to the school fund are tax deductible to the extent afforded by law.

Incoming SAS Ai Students for School Year 2018-19 Announcement


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(L-R) Mrs Miranda (Dylan’s Mom), Mrs Costales (Kyla’s Mom), Kyla Costales (9th grade), Mr Sables (Hazeldee’s Dad), Hazeldee Sables (11th grade), Mrs Sables (Hazeldee’s Mom), Esther Anne Sarmiento (7th grade), Mrs Sarmiento (Esther Anne’s Mom), Dylan Rodge Miranda (7th grade), Ms Margarita “Garet” Bayan (SAS Ai Student Activities & Affairs Coordinator), and Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, (Member, SAS Ai Board of Trustees) – Venue Photo taken at the Buenavista Family Inn (BFI), courtesy of Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, President of BFI

We welcome our new students participating in the SAS Ai financial aid program, starting this school year 2018-19.

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Dylan Miranda

Mr Dylan Rodge Y Miranda – moving up to 7th grade (SAS) (far left)

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Esther Anne Sarmiento

Ms Esther Anne N Sarmiento – moving up to 7th grade (Tagudin Central School) (far right)

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Kyla Costales

Ms Kyla Alexis Costales – moving up to 9th grade (SAS) (left)

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Ms Hazeldee Sables – moving up to 11th grade (SAS) (right)

 

 

Today, June 24, 2018, Ms Garet Bayan, (SAAC), met with the students and their families to discuss the particulars of the SAS Ai Financial Aid program:

  • Family financial (annual gross income) requirements.
  • Applicant’s grade point average (GPA) requirements.
  • Articles of Faith and Understanding covering the responsibilities and expectations of all parties involved:  (1) SAS Ai, (2) the student’s family, and (3) the student.
  • General Guidelines – SAS Ai expectations from its students participating in the program.
  • Academic, Social, Spiritual, Personal leadership development while in the program.
  • Q & A

Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, a member of the SAS Ai Board of Trustees, and one of the original drivers of the program since its inception, was present at the meeting. He freely shared his knowledge and expertise about the financial aid program. He covered SAS Ai history and its program success record to date, and answered most of the questions, as he helped Ms Bayan facilitate the meeting.

Join us in welcoming all our new students to the SAS Ai program! “Education is Freedom”

Letter from a High School Graduate


Dear Sir,

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(L-R) Mr Macanas, Juzel Ann Macanas, and Mrs Macanas on graduation day

Life is like a game… a Game of Chances. There are different challenges, levels of achievement, rewards, successes, failures, and even “draws” where you don’t win, don’t lose, but just break even, or move laterally.

The most scary part of this Game of Chances, I think, is the inevitable end when you see the “pop up” that says, “Game Over!” And you are left asking, “How did I do?”

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Mr Macanas pinning high honors award on Juzel Ann’s lapel

I am finally finished and successfully done with the “Achievement Level 2” in my life, called high school or secondary education. “Level 1” for me, of course, was Elementary school.

In negotiating Level 2, I endured all the emotions – happiness, sadness, hurt feelings, disappointments, craziness, embarrassing moments, foolish pride, being sickly, stressful moments – even while recovering from sickness, and eventually feeling better. And many more.

Many challenges came and went. Some disguised like homework, pop quizzes, research activities, journalistic reporting and the like. Some involved my own personal problems, notions of inadequacy, and lack of sleep. Sometimes in level 2, the Game of Chances told me I failed, or I lacked something, or I needed more improvement. But even then I still played, and never gave up giving the game my best shot.

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Classmates pose for a group photo

My allies and friends helped me get by – fortunately – and of course I speak of my parents, teachers, friends, SAS Ai, and God. SAS Ai rewarded me with awards, recognized my efforts, encouraged and inspired me to continue on. SAS Ai gave me strength, motivation, eagerness to improve, and the heart to courageously face and surmount obstacles.

Being a member of the first batch of graduating 12th grade Senior High School (new K-12 program) in our country makes me feel special. It makes me feel proud. Not getting the graduating class “GOLD” medal however, saddens me a bit because I feel I disappointed all of you. But I am happy to say that I received many “BEST” awards in different areas:

  • Outstanding Student List – first and second semester (the entire school year)
  • Parangal Awardee – Best Cartoonist and News Writer of our school paper “Aweng”
  • Best in Mathematics
  • Best in Accounting
  • Best in Applied Economics
  • Best in Organization and Management
  • Best in Business Finance
  • Best in Filipino
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My parents and I went up the stage many times to receive the BEST awards

I feel that the BEST awards were declared spontaneously, unplanned, and not part of the main program. As the unexpected winners were announced, tension covered the floor. Each and every time my name was called out for a BEST award, my parents and I walked up the stage, received the award, and went back to our seats. We did this many times and each and every time my name was called, the audience, teachers, staff, and students erupted in uproarious applause. It was surreal. They clapped, screamed, screeched, yelled, beat their seats with blunt instruments to make noise.

For each of those fleeting moments, I owned the stage. I felt like I was the only star twinkling brightly in a starless sky. I will never forget the experience. And in the backdrop, all my hard work, the sweat, the tears, and sacrifices faded and vanished into thin air, like wisps of smoke, in light of the immensity of the awards.

My parents, not to be outdone, dubbed me “Class Valedictorian”. I had to laugh a little. I knew they were way too biased. But I love them both for their loving gesture and kindness.

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Juzel Ann Macanas

Now, I face the next level of the Game of Chances. I expect this step up level to be more difficult, and riskier to negotiate. Where will I continue my studies? Are there college scholarships out there for which I can qualify and apply? Questions. This much I know. Saint Louis College looms largely in my sights as my next school. I want to pursue a BS degree in Accountancy.

I am faithfully hoping God will guide and help me through my search, and guide me through my next challenge level. He always has. I know he always will.

Thank you so much SAS Ai for investing in me and my high school education. Thank you to all our benefactors, donors, and supporters. I hope I will be able to pay it forward, just as you have exemplified with your financial aid program.

Sincerely yours,

Juzel Ann B. Macanas
SAS Ai Batch 2018

 

11th Grade Class Topnotcher, Daniella Lazo


Daniella Lazo

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Daniella Lazo

Daniella graduated on top of her 11th grade class, garnering the highest of honors.

She is poised to move up to 12th grade next school year (2018-19). Congratulations Daniella. You make us very proud.

Daniella’s academic record is impeccable. With her positive, outgoing, and friendly attitude, she contributes actively to classroom discussions, participating in various learning activities.

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Daniella Lazo’s Mom pinning one of her many top award ribbons

Her class attendance and good sense of punctuality remained solid and unbroken throughout the year. She is actively involved in her community in the practice of her faith, and in the mission of her church.

Daniella stands as the perfect example of an excellent, hard working, and focused student. She helps other scholars in the SAS Ai program by tutoring and by peer-to-peer coaching. She is collaborative and a very supportive team player during school projects.

(All photos courtesy of Ms Margarita Bayan, SAS Ai Student Affairs & Activities Coordinator)

May 31, 2018 – Senior High School Graduation


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Graduating High School Seniors, (L-R) Reggie Ann Padiwan, Jazelle Rose A Peck, Ms Margarita Bayan (SAS Ai Student Affairs & Activities Coordinator), Juzel Ann Macanas, Phoebe Balala, and Fegie Yvette Layco celebrating their Outstanding Student Awards and Parangal Awards.

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Phoebe Balala

Congratulations Seniors!… er… High School Graduates!

 

We are so proud of you. You did very well in your studies and in your extracurricular activities.

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Fegie Yvette Layco

Go out now into the world and proclaim: “Education is Freedom”.

 

Shout it out loud and clear – from the rooftops of your homes, and from the windows of your dorms.

Wear it proudly like a badge as you go through your daily routine within the community.

And when you go to college, display it proudly on campus by your confident demeanor and by the way you respectfully treat others.

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Juzel Ann Macanas

You are the product of an excellent SAS education. Live it. Blaze a trail.

 

Remember to come by and say hello to the next generation of SAS Ai scholars, whenever you are in the local area. Say hello to Ms Margaret Bayan, your student coordinator. Remember to send email messages to those who had confidence in you – investing generously towards your future.

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Reggie Ann Padiwan

But most of all – do yourselves proud by continuing to practice good study habits (don’t memorize; read to understand). Maintain excellent grades, and participate fully in classroom activities and in outside-the-classroom activities. Have fun studying by being curious and questioning.

 

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Jazelle Rose A Peck

Be community conscious by remembering your roots. Respect others and they will respect you back. Also remember those who need help and render them help to the best of your ability.

 

Set your sails to the wind. May God bless you in your new voyage… in your quest for success.

(All photos courtesy of Ms Margarita Bayan, SAS Ai Student Affairs & Activities Coordinator (SAAC)).

 

May 30, 2018 Graduation Ceremonies


Congratulations to our students (in the program) who are graduating and who made it to the OUTSTANDING STUDENT list.

Well done!

PonceOS2018Leo Joshua Ponce

Leo was in 7th grade. Today, he moves up with a well deserved promotion to the 8th grade.

Mr & Mrs Ponce proudly pinned the outstanding ribbon on Leo Joshua’s shirt, congratulating him.

They sent a very nice note to SAS Ai, expressing their gratitude for the program that helps Leo Joshua and other well deserving students attend SAS high school.

They also expressed their most sincere appreciation of being part of the SAS Ai family. Mr & Mrs Ponce assist at various SAS Ai functions held for the benefit of the kids in the program.

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Carla Nicole was an 8th grade student this past school year (2017-18). She maintained good grades, good study habits and was duly rewarded with an outstanding student award in both semesters.

Next school year (2018-19)? We are sure she is poised to join the 9th grade class and to be in the list of outstanding students again. She’s that talented.

Her family, relatives, friends no doubt are so proud of her accomplishments.

Congratulations Carla Nicole on a very good year!

MusniMomCrpdMaxin Angelo Musni

Maxin Angelo is quickly becoming a household name all around the SAS campus. Maxin participates in extracurricular activities such as, drama, campus journalism, and other scientific out-of-the-classroom projects.

He attended SAS as an 8th grade student (2017-18), graduating with outstanding student honors. He is moving up, reaping his rewards, with a promotion to 9th grade come school year (2018-19).

Maxin’s Mom (see photo at left) stands so proud by her son. Congratulations to both for a job well done!