Preschool is LCP’s first step of educational intervention. Our seven preschool centers start four year old children off with quality foundational education to prepare them for the future. This year marks a record number of preschool graduates with 119 moving up to kindergarten in June. The graduation ceremony featured dance and song performances from each of the seven preschool centers. The graduates performed traditional Filipino dances with costumes to match, made by the mothers, as well as contemporary dances. Each class awarded 1st and 2nd honors to the students with best behavior and participation, as well as other superlative awards. The preschool centers are a longstanding program. We are so proud of the achievements of the preschools, and we know the teachers are the reason for their continued success. Lolita Mendez, Bloomington Preschool teacher for 16 years, and Pomposa Patajo, Balugo Preschool teacher for 12 years, will be retiring this year. They are huge contributors to the success of this program and other educational programs, because they have faithfully taught hundreds of young children, many of whom have already graduated from college.
In years past, the Philippines has only required their students to complete 10 years of schooling prior to proceeding to college. In 2016, the Philippine education system added 11th and 12th grade to their curriculum to become more internationally competitive. In 2016 and 2017, LCP had no high school graduates, but rather, students celebrated being the first classes to move from 10th to 11th grade in Philippine history. Now that the additional years of schooling are fully implemented, 2018 marks the first-ever 12th grade graduates at LCP.
LCP celebrated with a banquet for the 51 senior high school graduates. The night included songs and dances performed by the graduates. Notable awardees for academic honors include: Jofelyn Garsula, Theresa Timonan, Jay Cheever Rocabarte, Ruben Morano, and Claire Vensuelo. Graduates receiving awards for LCP participation include: Jofelyn Garsula, Cris Rona Mae Oira, Raymark Ablong, and Theresa Timonan. We are so proud of all of our graduates!
We hope to see all these graduates succeed in life whether they are proceeding to college or entering into the work force. The new education system equips 12th grade graduates with vocational training as part of their senior high curriculum. All graduates are eligible to take an entrance exam to qualify for free college tuition at a public college like NORSU. LCP scholars, as always, must have an 85%, or above, average to be eligible for a scholarship. With government funded tuition, costs of sending a student to college will be greatly reduced. However, LCP scholarships will still be provided to help support transportation fees, projects, supplies, uniforms, and other additional expenses that vary based on course of study.
We are so excited we have added 13 new alumni to the LCP graduates, bringing us to a grand total of 284 graduates to come through our scholarship program. Thank you so much to everyone who was a sponsor and donor to these amazing graduates! Education is truly the only way to break the cycle of poverty. College graduates can make a better life for themselves, reach back to help their families, and are more financially able to give their children a chance to live free from the grips of poverty that once held them in bondage.
The school-year has come to an end for the LCP Work Scholarship recipients. And for 13 students, all their labors have paid off in graduation. LCP celebrated with a night just for the graduates. Nine graduates received Bachelor’s Degrees and three received Associate’s Degrees. In addition, we were able to see former scholars graduate who have now completed their respective degrees and graduates who have furthered their education. Most notably, Jorilie Joy Bilbao, an LCP college graduate who has been working full time while paying her way through law school. Joy spoke at the college banquet to encourage the college scholars with her story. We are so proud of Joy for her achievements. She is an inspiration to all LCP students and a picture of hard work and determination.
Earlier in the week, all 51 of the scholars celebrated the end of the school year with a banquet. Different groups performed dances and songs for the guests, including the LCP staff who performed “Kaamulan,” a traditional Filipino dance. Graduates, Rocky Bruce Alkuino and Gretchen Joy Tubil, shared their stories of how LCP has positively impacted their lives, and helped them achieve their dreams of attaining a college education. Awards were given for the most notable scholars. Joyce Gingco: Scholar of the Year, Aljhon Baco: Best in Participation, and Arnold Rahiol: Best in Swap. Many other scholars received recognition for excellent grades and LCP participation. Next year we anticipate 33 college graduates, and we look forward to seeing them succeed in the future. Due to the new laws giving free tuition in the Philippines, providing a scholarship through LCP will be much more affordable. Consider granting a scholarship for a deserving student and break the cycle of poverty for good!