Sunday, February 21, 2016

‘Iskolar ni Manang Imee’ beneficiary: Aim for the best, help your parents


Mizpah Grace G. Castro
PGIN-CMO

Laoag CITY—“Eventually, I'll help Ilocos Norte. Kung mayroon mang mga trabaho na pwedeng makatutulong sa development ng Ilocos Norte, I will choose to be a part of it.”

Czarina Berlynne Donne M. Agustine is the second of four children of a tricycle driver and an office clerk. A resident of Laoag City and graduate of the Ilocos Norte National High School-Special Science Class (INNHS-SSC), she is now a freshman at the Mariano Marcos State University-College of Arts and Sciences (MMSU-CAS) in Batac City, and a beneficiary of the "Iskolar ni Manang Imee" scholarship program.
Czarina Agustin (Reu A. Flores)

According to Berlynne, she initially qualified for and was accepted into the Sirib Academic Scholarship program funded by the Sirib Youth Office (SYO). When Sirib officers noticed her latest general weighted average (1.25), they encouraged her to apply for the "Iskolar ni Manang Imee" scholarship instead.

The "Iskolar ni Manang Imee" program was launched in 2012 and has since benefited thousands of Ilocano youth through a stipend every semester covering tuition fee, transportation allowances, daily expenses, and board and lodging, if necessary. It is funded by the Provincial Education Department.

In the past, Ilocos Norte Governor Maria Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos had stressed that such assistance should be given not only to students with high grades and educational achievements, but also to those who are eager learners but due to economic hardship have small chances of finishing their studies. She emphasized that Ilocanos should work together as one family, uplifting each other to realize their fullest potentials in the service of Ilocos Norte.

"It [being a scholar] has a big factor in my studies dahil nakatutulong 'yon sa ‘kin not only financially, but also as a spring, kumbaga, na mag-aral akong mabuti para ma-maintain ko yung grades and yung scholarship, kasi hindi naman lahat nakapapasok sa scholarship program. It's a big opportunity,” shared Berlynne.

With her parents' limited income to support four children, she recognizes that she has been given a huge privilege, describing the program as being “very helpful and very beneficial to us teens, kasi mahirap nga talaga ang buhay. It's very helpful as well to our parents.” Hence, she also harbors a desire to give back to Ilocos Norte when the time comes for her to look for a job that could possibly aid in the development of the province.

Berlynne further urges fellow students and scholars not to waste their opportunity to earn an education: "Mag-aral nang mabuti, aim for the best, and help your parents. Give back all the sacrifices that they've been giving you, and reach for your goals always. Focus on your studies."

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