March 11, 2017
Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines
“Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”
It’s the most awaited time of the year for our PEARLS Scholars in Brgy. Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan! After a year of learning new things, bonding with new found friends, and spending their weekdays on their second home, the PEARLS Learning Center, our PEARLS preschoolers are now moving up!
This special Saturday morning started with the assembly of all our PEARLS scholars. Everyone was present, from nursery up to college level.
The program proper. The ceremony started with the marching of the preschool graduates with their proud parents.
The march was followed by the national anthem, and a prayer led by one of our graduates, Jamaica Portes.
Project PEARLS Founder and Executive Director, Melissa Villa, formally opened the program by sharing an inspiring message to the scholars.
In response, one of the scholars’ parents also gave a speech to express their gratitude for the gift of education for their children. We did not expect her to deliver a very emotional message, but perhaps, this is the magical effect of the PEARLS Scholarship Program – more than just sending the kids to school, we become part of their dreams and their lives, and in the process, we become their family.
After the formal presentation of graduates by Teacher Nestor, our Founder, Melissa, with her daughter and co-founder, Francesca, presented the diplomas and special awards.
Moving-up day won’t be complete without the kids showcasing their talent! Through their dance presentation, the graduates expressed their gratitude to all the sponsors and partners of Project PEARLS.
As representatives of the Grade 6 and college scholars, Adrealyn and Cheradee, delivered a message to give thanks for all the opportunities given to them. Our hearts are filled with joy to see our scholars recognizing the importance of education and believing in the power of their dreams.
The last part of the program was dedicated as a send-off for our three scholars – Princess, Catherine, and Lilibeth. Like the other PEARLS scholars in Bulacan, they used to work and live in Ulingan, Tondo, Manila. Now, they are off to represent the Philippines in the “HerStory Global Summit” in the Big Apple – New York City! Truly, this is one of our proudest moments at Project PEARLS. When we established the first ever LitClub in the Philippines six years ago, bringing the girls to the US seemed like an impossible dream. From being shy little girls, they have now transformed to young ladies who are confident and smart, ready to share their stories in New York! Together with other LitClub members from ten countries, this summit will guide them in developing action plans that will address critical issues in their respective communities. We are extemely grateful to LitWorld and Global GLOW for this life-changing opportunity for the girls! We believe that New York is just the start of a beautiful and meaningful life-long journey for these girls!
After Kuya Juan’s closing message, refreshments and lunch followed. Thank you, Bacolod Chicken Inasal, for filling the tummies of the kids!
These kids will not be able to “move” one step closer to their dreams without the support of our sponsors. To the different organizations, companies, and individuals who continue to believe in our mission, thank you so much for supporting the PEARLS Scholarship Program!
Lastly, we thank our volunteers for always dedicating their time and effort!
This coming school year, 2017-2018, we aim to have more PEARLS Scholars. And we need your help to make this possible. Let’s work together to help more children to have a better life. Give the gift of education. Support the #PEARLSScholarshipProgram.
Photos by: Sidney Snoeck