We stumbled on the following article in the online edition of Manila Bulletin, dated March 25, 2007. It is about the scholarships given by the NEC Foundation, Inc. for less privileged students.
We are reprinting this story because it features Christopher Basmayor, a graduate of Lakan Dula High School (Batch ’98 ) who won a grant from said foundation and graduated summa cum laude. Also consider this as our blog’s for-your-information service. Who knows, your son or daughter could be the next NEC scholar.
Christopher at St. James Park in London, England
Giving the less privileged a chance at a better life through ICT education
Written by Edison Ong
Now a breadwinner and a software engineer at a multinational IT company, Christopher Basmayor, once had to scrounge for resources to put himself through college.
After graduating from Lakan Dula High School in Tondo, Basmayor dreamt of taking up Computer Engineering at the Mapua Institute of Technology, but his family could not afford it.
“My family is not rich and during that time my father was the only one working to support all of our needs. With my brother and I going to college at the same time and with tuition fees skyrocketing, we could barely make both ends meet. So I decided to study at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila where I was granted a full scholarship,” Basmayor explained.
A year later, however, Basmayor changed his mind and shifted to Electronics and Communications Engineering. The course shift caused him to lose his scholarship.
“I went through my second year as a paying student. It was a very hard time for all of us, because aside from the tuition and other fees, school projects were starting to pile up,” he said.
With very limited financial resources and the vision of graduation becoming dimmer by the day, Basmayor and his father started searching for scholarships and financial assistance.
Father and son then came across an advertisement in one of the leading newspapers about NEC Foundation’s undergraduate scholarship program.
“I applied for the scholarship, and with God’s help, I was chosen to become one of the few scholars to receive financial assistance from NECFI,” Basmayor said.
“I was given full scholarship for three years. NECFI has not only helped me finish my studies, it has also eased my family’s burden, thus, enabling my family to support my brother’s education. Because my school expenses were fully subsidized by NECFI, my father was able to concentrate more on the other needs of my brother.” he added.
NEC Foundation Inc. (NECFI) was set up by technology firm NEC Corporation. The Foundation has been providing scholarships to underprivileged students for Computer Science, Electronics & Communications Engineering, and Computer Engineering courses since its inception in 1986.
Today, Basmayor, who graduated Summa cum Laude and finished number two in the ECE board exams, is just one of the more than 90 graduates that the Foundation has produced so far.
He now works as a Software Engineer for EB2 International, an Australian company specializing in internet airline e-commerce/booking engines that recently started its operations here in the Philippines. He now does not need to worry about making ends meet. Instead, he takes financial responsibilities for his family, pitching in for utility bills, giving his younger cousin allowances and buying necessities that before he could not afford. He has been able to afford to buy his own laptop and even bought another and supplied it with Internet access for their eldest brother, who is a polio victim. Together with his other brother, who is also a NECFI scholar, they bought a car for their father.
He now feels secure because he has the education that so very few students could afford, that of graduating as an engineering student and being able to work for one of the fastest growing industries, Information and Communications Technology (ICT). He has been sent to the United Kingdom and Australia for trainings that lasted for months. Prior to working for EB2, Basmayor was also a Solutions Engineer for Accenture.
“We decided to focus on providing scholarships for the three ICT courses not only because NEC’s core business is ICT but because engineering and computer science courses enable an immediate shift to higher income levels and a dramatic change in quality of living as proven by Basmayor,” said Doy Santos, country manager of NEC Philippines.
According to NECFI Executive Director and University of the Philippines’ College of Engineering Professor and former Dean Edgardo Atanacio, most of NECFI’s graduates, like Basmayor, are now working for top ICT companies both in the Philippines and abroad.
NEC Foundation scholars are only asked to maintain certain academic standards. But, he said, they are not even asked to pay back what has been spent for them nor are they required to intern or work for NEC.
The Foundation was set up with a US million grant from NEC Corp. of Japan in 1986. NECFI has since spent more than R17 million in scholarship grants.
The Foundation is again calling on students who, just like Basmayor before, want to take up the aforementioned courses but could not afford to do so. “We are already accepting applications for scholarships for the next school year,” said Atanacio.
Those interested to apply may go to the NECFI office located at the University of the Philippines College of Engineering building (Rm. 117, Melchor Hall) in Diliman, Quezon City.
[ Click here for more related news about the scholarship.]