“Learn to Concentrate…”


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Our SAS Ai scholars pose for a group photo during a quarterly scheduled meeting

“You must learn to concentrate,” the home room teacher, Mrs Salve Lascota advised one of her brighter students. “There are just too many distractions out there. You cannot let your mind wander.”

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Heavily distracted

Young Cristina nodded her head. “Thanks Ma’am Bing,” she replied, somewhat embarrassed for having been caught daydreaming. She redirected her gaze from the window back to her desktop. She even shook her head lightly – as if to clear the cobwebs that seemed to cover her brain. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and she felt drowsy. She and her buddies had generous servings of Halo-Halo topped with ice cream – a deadly combination of high sugar and fat.

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Halo-Halo with Ice Cream

She seemed to take in the advice. But… then she thought, “Concentrate on what? What could Ma’am Bing be talking about?” Cristina is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. She is a bright young lady, serious and motivated, who dreams of being a dental hygienist someday. But man, it’s hard to stay awake in class in the afternoon, in the oppressive heat, in the asphyxiating humidity. Add to that Mrs Lascota’s sing-song-y presentations that’s so soothing it can lull, even an ornery Tasmanian devil, to sleep.

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Infatuation can be distracting

Truth be told, Cristina is distracted. Big time. And she knows it. It’s that Aglosolos boy from Libtong. Yes, he is a bit rough around the edges, sometimes rude and often ill-mannered but he is a solid young man with a great personality. Charming, crafty, and clever as the asp that long ago coiled around the apple tree in the garden of Eden and seduced Mother Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. So Cristina drifts into dreamland every now and then, thinking about that Aglosolos boy who haunts her every waking moment.

Thinking man

Concentration

Ah… the perils of puppy love. Infatuation. First awakenings. And in high school, things can morph into a wilderness scenario so very easily. Fortunately, we have teachers like Mrs Salve Lascota who, out of love for their craft, their students, exert influence over them, encouraging them to channel their attention to their studies, to focus on their goals, and to concentrate on things that are relevant and important.

Generosity Killer


Unkind-famous

“When we do a random act of kindness, we do it without seeking recompense.”

Hatred kills generosity.

Hateful words deriding another person for their acts of charity, only serve to diminish the sympathy for others felt by the recipient of such unkind commentary.

In the end, the once charitable person, mocked and ridiculed for their acts of kindness becomes unwilling to give. Their once kind hearts, numbed by the senseless verbal attacks leveled at them, turn to stone.

Who suffers? The needy person; the intended recipient of the charity.

Such a story circulates in social media today, about a very bitter person’s reaction to another person’s charitable contributions to some needy kids.

“I can’t believe she actually gave money to this cause,” the poster wrote, reacting to a story posted in social media about a woman who donated to a charitable cause. The poster claimed familiarity with this generous person described in the story. Seems they were married at one time.

“She yelled at me whenever I put money in the collection plate on Sunday,” his commentary continued.

“She never allowed me to give money to my ailing parents either. Or give me money to bet at the cockfights. She was so tightfisted she squeaked when she walked. And now she gives to charitable causes? Hypocrite! How bogus. How fake. Making herself look good outside. Rotten inside. Can you believe it?” The poster continued with his unkind commentary.

A firestorm of posts erupted. Commenters from all corners dove in to the fray. The scene turned ugly.

“Hoy, you better stop posting… your comments are not true. You lying,” one poster wrote.

Someone who apparently knew them when they were a couple left this post: “If you do not stop commenting I will reveal all your stinky secrets. And the whole world will know just how rotten you were as a husband. Lazy and dumb. No work because no one will hire you. You are nothing but a freeloader.”

Still, another poster wrote, “Please think twice before you post. You are embarrassing yourself. Big time.”

Whoa. Time out. Let’s come up for air. What about the generous person described in the story – the original object of the disgruntled poster’s ire? How was she impacted by all this trash talk?

Unkind-Words

When hateful words kill a person’s generosity, the recipient of the charity suffers.

Sadly, the unkind posts impacted her negatively. She regretted ever having given to the cause of the needy kids. She vowed never to donate to such charitable causes. She faded into social networking obscurity. Vanished – never to be heard from again.

Ultimately, who lost in this brew-ha-ha? The disgruntled ex-husband you think? Not hardly.

The ex-wife? Nope.

The needy kids? You bet.

 

 

Letter to our Current Scholars in the Program


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“College and High School are totally different. They have only one thing in common:  that you need to study hard to make it.”

Dear Co-scholars,

Hi! How are you guys? Are you enjoying high school? Are you working hard on your studies? I hope you are. Don’t be “easy-go-lucky”. College is so different from high school. College and High School have only one requirement in common: that you should really study hard.

Some disciplines we are learning in college were also taught in high school. If you are already in the habit of studying hard, you will NOT be left out. Here in college, knowledge and skills are mostly self-learned. Instructors are not going to explain everything. They are not going to do all the talking. They are not going to chase you and beg you to listen to their lecture. No Ma’am. No Sir. It is your responsibility to help yourself.

By the way, you should expose yourselves to doing different activities, such as, speaking in front of a large audience. It will help you with your self-confidence. You should also talk more using the English language because they are not going to let you speak in Tagalog, not unless you are in a subject, such as, “Filipino”.

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“Studying Hard is a good Habit to Form.”

You should take time to rest when you can. Do not get used to the idea of “mañana habit,” otherwise known as procrastination. Do not be a slacker – forget the “bahala na” attitude. Time flies fast; you need to use your time wisely. Have a mature outlook, be serious and focused. Be independent but ask for help if you need it.

Anyways, enjoy while you still can. I hope you all the best guys. God bless and Good luck.

Signed/ Kristine Joy Cardenas

 

 

Student’s Meeting Report 12-2014


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Students electing a student Liaison officer

Last December 26th, the day after Christmas, our students in the financial aid program met, supervised by Mr Albert Bunoan, VP Field Operations. Attending, unless otherwise noted were:

  1. Kristine Joy Cardenas
  2. Maiah Genelle Dauz
  3. Everlyn Jamandra
  4. Geraldine Layco
  5. Melvie Legaspina
  6. Kim Shelly Tan
  7. Krisha Teodosio
  8. Rocel Anne Vinluan
  9. Phoebe Balala
  10. Students electing a student secretary

    Students electing a student secretary

    Fegie Yvette Layco

  11. Juzel Ann Macanas
  12. Abigail Ponce
  13. Kisses Ulpindo
  14. Kennrik Bunoan
  15. Keanna Bunoan
  16. Kyle Zyra Lazo – absent
  17. Grace Anne Laycano – absent
  18. Mariella Tacho – absent

Mr Albert Bunoan called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM with the following agenda:

  • Election of a student Liaison officer and an assistant Liaison officer from among the students.
    • The Liaison officer coördinates all student activities, issues, concerns in and out of school and reports to the VP Field Operations before every scheduled meeting. The assistant Liaison officer performs all the duties as back-up.
    • The purpose of this position is to give the students leadership experience.
  • Election of a student recording Secretary and an Assistant recording secretary from among the students.
    • Duties include taking meeting minutes, preparing the minutes for submission and reporting to VP, Field Operations after every scheduled meeting.
    • The purpose of this position is to give the students an opportunity to experience secretarial duties, emphasizing attention to detail and official reporting.
  • Mariella Tacho - Student Liaison Officer

    Mariella Tacho – Student Liaison Officer

    Kim Shelly Tan presided over the election and vote counts.

    • Nominated for Liaison officer were Mariella Tacho, Kim Shelly Tan, and Geraldine Layco.
      • Voting results:  Tacho-10, Tan-4, Layco-1
      • The students voted Mariella Tacho as Liaison officer in absentia.
      • Melvie Legaspina called Mariella and informed her of the election results. Mariella accepted the position.
      • Kim Shelly Tan, garnered the second most votes for Assistant Liaison officer. She accepted the position.
  • Nominees for Secretary were Fegie Yvette Layco, Rocel Ann Vinluan, Melvie Legaspina, Geraldine Layco, andEverlynJamandra.
    • Voting results:  Fegie YvetteLayco-6, Rocel AnneVinluan-4, MelvieLegaspina-3, GeraldineLayco-2, andEverlynJamandra-1.

      Fegie Yvette Layco - Student Secretary

      Fegie Yvette Layco – Student Secretary

    • The secretary position went to Fegie Yvette Layco, who accepted the position. She immediately assumed her duties, taking meeting minutes, notes and points during the discussion. Later, she compiled the final meeting minutes and sent her report to Mr Albert Bunoan, who ultimately sent it to the BOT.
    • As second place vote getter, Rocel Ann Vinluan took the Assistant secretary position. She accepted the job.
  • A monthly student off-campus meeting will be held, starting at 9:00 AM on the following dates:
    • January 31, 2015
    • February 28, 2015
    • March 21, 2015
      • Attendance to all scheduled meetings is mandatory.
  • All students must give their grade report cards Mr Albert Bunoan within one day upon receipt of said grade report cards. SAS Ai will withhold tuition payments for any student who do not give their grade report card within one day of receipt.
  • Announcements:
    President & CEO Melanie P Florentino, MAEd

    President & CEO Melanie P Florentino, MAEd

    • Newly elected President & CEO – Melanie P Florentino, MAEd
    • Secretary-Treasurer – Crisostomo L Buenavista, MAEd
    • Auditor – Tina Laycano, BSEd
  • Other Discussions:
    • Continue to actively pursue the shadow program and bring it to fruition.
    • Discontinue the Virtual Classroom activities but the WIKI is open for all students to BLOG and to comment and post.
    • A field trip is in the works
  • Open Forum – no one asked any questions, nor had any concerns.
  • The meeting adjourned at 11:05AM.

Students meet with President & CEO


PresidentJULscholarsCRPDLast July, President & CEO, Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista took a special trip to the Philippines to meet with the students who take part in the SAS Ai financial aid program. Mr Buenavista paid for his own trip and expenses. SAS Ai gave no funds to help defray the cost of his visit.

For the benefit of our donors and supporters, we want to state this upfront to reinforce our statement that we do not have any administrative costs connected with our financial aid program.

The meeting agenda included topics on leadership, teamwork, peer-to-peer help, group study, and participation in the Virtual Classroom activities. By all accounts, everybody had a great time. The meeting enhanced camaraderie among the students and provided student access to SAS Ai’s officers. Field Operations VP, Albert D Bunoan helped set up and conduct the meeting.

News from our Graduates


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Arthien Lovell Pelingen

It’s always great to hear from our graduates.

We heard from Arthien Lovell Pelingen. He is doing well in his pursuits. He is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Program, Biology Major at the nation’s most prestigious college –  the University of the Philippines on a full scholarship grant. Arthien graduated high school, class salutatorian.

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Nesza Queen Camonas

 

 

We also heard that Nesza Queen Camonas is attending MAPUA Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Engineering. All is well, she tells us.

 

Jessa Lagrana Lastimosa

Jessa Lagrana Lastimosa

 

Meanwhile, Jessa Lagrana Lastimosa was at St Louis University in Baguio City, pursuing a BS degree in Pharmacy. We believe she is currently interning at Bethany Hospital.

A Determined Spirit


Rose Ann's family kitchen

Rose Ann’s family kitchen

“Mom, can I stay home today and work on my math assignment? I am behind.” Rose Ann sounded worried. As a family they planned to harvest the corn the whole day. It was just her and her parents.

“Rose sweetheart,” her mother softly replied, “you have to do what you have to do. School’s very important and your father and I will manage.”

Rose’s parents, Mr and Mrs Fajardo want Rose Ann to keep up her good grades so that she can keep her scholarship. Like most folks in the village, the Fajardo’s live by the “scratch and peck,” system of daily survival. Their field’s planted all year round with cash crops like corn, mung beans, sugar beets, and rice. Tenant farming puts food on the table but not much else. The Fajardo ladies don’t buy fabric from which to sew dresses; they use softened flour sackcloth or empty rice sacks. The little money saved from produce sales goes to the livestock feed and fertilizer. For this reason Rose Ann applied for financial aid to finish high school.

Mature for her age, Rose Ann performed well in elementary school maintaining a grade point average of 89%. Shy, introverted and demure, her classmates make fun of her timidity – all in jest – no malice. Members of our Field Team counsel and coach her to open up, be vocal specially during classroom discussions. “Ask the teacher questions. Don’t be afraid of ridicule,” they strongly suggest. “Class participation is critical, and if you don’t speak up, you won’t get any answers,” they would continue. For her part, Rose Ann gave opening up a good try. She is getting better each day and the Field Team makes it a point to recognize her improvement during scheduled meetings.

Rose Ann wants to finish high school and go on to higher learning. With her indomitable spirit and self-confidence we are hopeful of her future. We are proud to help her attend high school. On behalf of Rose Ann and on behalf of all our scholars, we thank you our benefactors. Without your generous help and donations, we would not be able to conduct our mission.