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Scranton Scholarship

Welcome to the Scholar's Square!

This space is not exclusively for Scranton Scholars! Therefore, anyone who wants to become friends
with Scranton Scholars and build a global network is always welcomed to visit this page.
Feel free to share your ideas, life stories, testimonies, and any updates throughout your studies
and your life with Scranton members and women leaders!

A Work in Progress

Hello everyone! How are you? My name is Sheila Mae Villamil. This is my first year with Scranton Scholarship, and I thank them for their generosity and for giving me this wonderful opportunity. God must have a plan for me and I will try my best to do things in accordance to him. I study at Silliman University, taking up my third year in Bachelor of Science in Psychology. It’s been a few months since we started Online Distance Learning (ODL) here and it’s been a wild ride. Being stuck at home, coupled with a shift to a more technological lifestyle, has been a bit frustrating. Thankfully, I have adjusted now. There are errors here and there, but I know it can’t be helped. We are all a work in progress. I was also inspired and encouraged to join other organizations to help me grow. I have been part of our SU Red Cross Youth since junior high and I wanted to broaden the areas where I could learn, grow, and help out. So, I joined our Student Government’s Environment Committee and Renaissance Youth Leaders Forum (RYLF). There I met passionate and kind people, though I haven’t communicated with them as much because of adjusting to ODL and learning how applications work. Despite this, I learned a lot from them, and I hope that they will learn from me too. I used to work as a Student Assistant in our school main library to help with school fees so, I was almost all the time out and about. But now because of the pandemic, I am a bit discombobulated with the sudden change and the constant stay in a single place. And in a way, amidst all this, I found this as a blessing in disguise. I got to spend time with my family and friends and connect with them on a level we haven’t experienced before. Not only that, I learned more about myself now than I ever did before. All these people have taught me about the love language of communication, touch, presence, and support. It’s been quite an interesting journey. A roller-coaster ride, driven by God himself. And I thank Him for that. There are a lot of things He has given me that was more than I deserve. This is it for my short update. I hope all of you are doing well and taking care of yourselves. God bless and keep safe everyone!

  • Sheila Mae G. Villamil
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  • Silliman University
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Perfect Time

Hi everyone! I am Alexandra Antonia Abellar! Third year Bachelor of Arts major in Communication. I would just like to share my story when I got accepted in this scholarship. Everything came at the perfect time indeed! I have been a financial aid scholar since the second semester of my freshmen year. Applying for the scholarship was the only thing I could think of to help my mom who is raising me alone and lessen her expenses. We live with my grandparents and both of them are both cancer patients. My Grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer last 2015 and my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2016. Cancer medications are very much expensive and they also need to do yearly check ups with their doctors. So applying for a scholarship was the only thing I could think of.Days before my grandfather was hospitalized because he needed to have a quadruple by-pass surgery,  Miss Liza sent me the application for this scholarship. She said only a few were given an opportunity to apply. So I grabbed the opportunity with a praying heart. This could be a big help if I pass since the whole tuition fee will be paid.The pandemic has also hindered the money circulating in our family since my mom's salary was cut to half and my grandfather needed more medicine and they are very expensive as well.Lo and behold, I am now a recipient of this scholarship and am sharing my experience while I was applying. It was truly an answered prayer. But this doesn't mean that's the only thing I can do for my family. To help give funds for my grandfather's operation, I sold some of my k-pop merchandise. I also do fan fiction writing commissions. Fan fictions are really something very popular especially in stan twitter. The proceeds I got were given to my mom but she told me to use it for myself. The commissions came in handy as well because recently our house was submerged in water due to the typhoon. I re-opened my commissions so that I could get funds for the repair.

  • Alexandra Antonia Luis Abellar
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  • Miriam College
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  • 2020 

Flourish Together

Greetings!I am Kriz Heart R. Agillon, a third-year BA International Studies student. I feel blessed with these opportunities and financial aid. I did not expect getting this scholarship, for I thought I was not enough nor fit for such fortune. A little background about me is that I am the youngest of my family. Two of my siblings are married whilst my eldest sister is single. Unfortunately, my eldest sister has a chronic kidney disease so I often aid her as she goes to the hospital two times a week for hemodialysis. My other sister is a nurse. Next, my dad died when I was 12 years old due to cardiac arrest. During my younger years, I did not excel well in class nor talented.   I was just a normal student. Then, I had an increase of incidences wherein I was bullied by both teachers and students during my high school years. Coupled with the death of my father, I knew I had to step up. I studied harder to get honors and tuition fee discounts. As I progress in high school, I realized that I inherited my father’s talent, drawing. Then, I made artwork commissions to sustain my budgets for school. I also became a thesis leader to both our quantitative and qualitative types of research; both are fortunately published in our school. I improved enough to become both the class salutatorian and finalist to inter-city, inter-schools, and school art contests. I won some contests but it was not enough to convince me to take up BA in Fine Arts, hence I chose BA in International Studies.    I chose my course because I wanted to become a teacher. In my old school, some of my teachers take 15+ units of subjects to compensate for the lack of staff. Hence, to help them, I took this course knowing that it covers humanities, social work, politics, and foreign languages. As promised, I shall work at my old school for my teacher and future students' sake because I believe that everybody deserves quality education. Not only they should learn but also love learning itself similar to what I felt.   In college, I became very active in curricular and extra-curricular activities. My school lets us commence charity works and events to brighten the days and address the needs of the less fortunate people. When I was a secretary of the Sophomore Council, we donated cans of goods to orphanages and cancer patients. I feel very proud of aiding the needy because I believe that we should be empathic. It does not matter if we are rich, what we can give back to others appeases our conscience and God. Before the pandemic, I used to volunteer in churches and our campus ministry. In academics, I am doing well for I prioritize my works based on time duration and deadline. I was a dean's lister during my first and second years at college.   I am currently the treasurer of the Junior Year Council. I do not only handle finances but also use my network of people in contacting speakers, sponsors, and partner organizations. Outside my school, I am a deputy city director of the Youth Advocates for the Philippines. We host webinars focusing on Philippine laws, human rights issues, and other youth-oriented movements. I am still an artist in my spare time. I also have many friends from various years and courses at my college. I make sure I have a wide set of connections to people, for I can listen to their concerns and issues truthfully either as a confidant or officer.   My life is not centered on academics and advocacy works. I practice self-care such as sleeping 8 hours a day, eating nutritious that I cooked, and more. Additionally, I play games, listen to K-pop, and watch anime, Netflix shows, and local telenovelas. When I am not busy, I also do programming and animating for future group presentations. I mentioned all of these to prove that life outside schools and friend circles is possible. I also pray and meditate a lot to because appeasing God with my action is top priority,   Even though my father is no longer with me, I am certain that he with God will be proud of me. As said in the lyrics of Legends Never Die by Against the Current, "When everything's lost, they pick up their hearts and avenge defeat." Similar to my high school teachers that felt insecure and tired, I will continue to rise up for God, my family, and friends. No negative word can hold me back.   With the Covid-19 pandemic, it is time for strong people to best represent humanity through aid and empathy. Through actions, knowledge, and arts, may we prosper amidst the pandemic.   That is all.   Thank you for reading and God bless!   Attached here is my artwork dedicated to my sister who is a nurse. It is drawn using a pen tablet in Photoshop.   

  • Kriz Heart R. Agillon
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  • Miriam College
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  • 2020 

Blessing Amidst Crisis

Magandang Buhay! I am Luisa Tacorda, 20 years old from the Philippines. I am currently studying at Miriam College as a 3rd year BS Psychology student. Indeed, receiving the Scranton scholarship is both a great blessing and honor not only to myself but to my family as well. Just a little background about myself, I belong to a family of six: my parents and my three other sisters with me being the second daughter. Growing up, our parents never failed to remind us the value and power of education. According to them, we may not be a wealthy family, they will strive hard to provide us the education that we must have in order to gain the knowledge we need to succeed in life. From then on, despite not fully knowing how powerful knowledge can be, I see to it that I will do my best in school in order to make my parents happy. I remember they always tell us that no matter how tired they are from working it fades away whenever they see us do well in our academic responsibilities. Fast forward, here I am now getting closer and closer into achieving my goal of finishing my studies and soon help my family.    Certainly, this Scranton scholarship served as a reminder for me that amidst the chaos one can still and shall find a reminder of a better life moving forward. Indeed, as we all know, due to the current health crisis, unemployment increased due to the sudden closing of various businesses/companies. Unfortunately, my father is one of the Filipinos who lost their job due to the pandemic. Honestly, during the early onset of the pandemic I am still hopeful that our country's general condition will improve and that we all can get back to our normal lives. However, sadly our situation worsened as months passed by resulting to numerous job losses to my fellow countrymen. When my father lost his job I can say that I have no idea how can we survive. It also got me thinking if my sisters and I can still continue our education. Fortunately, amidst all my uncertainties and worries the Scranton Scholarship came and indeed it gave me the sign to still move forward and don't lose hope. This scholarship became a reminder to me that no matter what struggle I might face I must always have faith in God' s plan for me and strive hard. 

  • Luisa Tacorda
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  • Miriam College
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  • 2020 

Never forget to share your blessings

Hi, everyone! I hope all of you are well!I'm Clarisse, a senior taking up International Studies at Miriam College. This year, I was very fortunate enough to receive a Scranton scholarship since, without the scholarship, I won't be able to secure my education since my mom's job is no longer guaranteed because companies are reducing its workers. In fact, a lot of Filipinos are experiencing financial instability due to the pandemic and the loss of employment. Thus, whenever I go out, I kept seeing more and more people living on the streets, begging for spare change, and wishing that it would be enough to buy food for their family. It breaks my heart to think that just outside my house, people are suffering and living in poverty. As such, upon seeing the situation, I realized how blessed I am to still be able to continue my studies because of the Scranton Scholarship and continue to live comfortably, despite not being rich. With this realization, I also wanted to reach out to those who are less fortunate. I wanted to share my blessings so that other people could also benefit from it. God blessed me with a lot of things, and one thing I can do is share it with others. By reaching out and helping the less fortunate, I can use it as a way to give back and ease the worries of those people who are also having a hard time during the pandemic.As such, whenever people are asking for help, or we see someone in need of help, we immediately help them with whatever they need. We gave out necessities and food to non-regular workers whose jobs also became uncertain due to the pandemic and to those who are homeless. Currently, my mom and I are planning a food drive for the homeless and those living in poverty within our community so that they will be able to eat a decent meal for a few days. Despite the challenges, God has blessed us with many things, and I am very thankful. Given these blessings, I want to share it with others so they, too, can reap something good out of it. 

  • Clarisse Solis
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  • Miriam College
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  • 2020 

God's blessings

First, I want to be grateful that this year I can graduate on time, even though I have limited thesis making due to coronaI am grateful for God's blessings in my life during my studies, one of which is getting a Scranton scholarship until I graduate. I am grateful for Scranton for helping me realize my dream to complete my studies at Petra Christian University Surabaya, Indonesia.I hope that Scranton women's leadership can continue to provide scholarships for women.Currently, I have graduated and developed my parents' business, and I am grateful that I can open job vacancies for mothers in this situation. I open this job vacancy as a thanksgiving I got a scholarship here and I also want to share my blessings and hope with mothers in need.Jesus bless you

  • Azalia Indrawati Susanto
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  • Petra Christian University
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  • 2019 

I'M BLESSED!

Hello. My name is Florencia Fortuna, I am from Petra Christian University (Indonesia). This month I just got my Bachelor of Communication Science. I am very grateful for the achievements that I have obtained so that I can complete my lectures on time and with good achievements. I believe that all these achievements are not because of my greatness, but all are gifts from the Lord Jesus. And I am very grateful and thankful also for the last 1 year I received scholarship assistance from the Scraton Women's Leadership Center. This scholarship really helped me to be able to complete my studies smoothly, without any financial constraints in lectures. I believe that all these opportunities are God's intervention. And I am very blessed. Thanks.

  • Florencia Fortuna Saputra
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  • Petra Christian University
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  • 2020 

When Jesus says YES, nobody can say NO

I was not born a Christian. However, 12 years ago I knew I made the biggest decision to be baptized and accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. It was not anything coincidental, Jesus had called me to follow Him even at an early age of 7/8 years old. Although my parents were practicing Confucian-Buddhism, they were the first persons who introduced me to a Sunday school teacher, and I readily joined the other kids to experience my first encounter of Jesus and to present my very first worships and praises to Him.That was where I grew deeply in love with God’s words and I was made curious to know more about Jesus. God has everything planned out for me, I was planted as a member of Mawar Sharon church Sidoarjo and gave my self for baptism. The day I welcomed Jesus into my life has marked the start of Jesus taking a full control of me; I allow Him to mold me into what He wants and all I do is to obey and surrender completely to His will. Accepting Jesus was like a spiritual awakening and I will never trade it for anything else for the price that I pay would be too great. For this salvation God has given me in exchange of His life on the cross, I would carefully guard my heart and nurture a life that is centered only on Christ.                                                             Newfound family in ChristI may not possess the skill of a preacher, but I long to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ by getting involved in the church ministry. In a small-scale ministry, for instance, I volunteer to provide food/drink for every one in a prayer’s meeting (cell group) and share inspirations of God’s words I obtained from my Bible daily reading and devotion, testify about the smallest good things God has done for me, and support each other in prayer, so that it can also be a blessing for others. In addition to CG ministry, I volunteer as an English interpreter team, where I help translate sermons to any foreign guests. I have also recently started to learn sign language so that God’s words can still reach out to everyone despite their physical disabilities. However, I could not thank Him enough for He also called my mother to accept Jesus when I prayed for her in a revival service. To me, everything I’ve achieved, the kind of person that I am today is all because of His unfailing love, and I will always lead a life that is pleasing to God; to grow Christian characters and to become more like Christ.1 Peter 1:23, NIV : “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

  • Christina
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  • Petra Christian University
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  • 2020 Graduate Scholarship

His Perfect Plan

Hello! I am Audrae Cruz, a 2020 Scranton Scholar studying in Miriam College in the Philippines. I came from a middle-class family of 5, my dad, mom, a younger brother and a 5 year old sister. We may not have a lot, but we are always contented. As a child, I have always dreamt of helping my mom and dad with finances because I know we struggle with it a lot. At a young age, I started dreaming of eating the most delicious food with my family which later on progressed to wanting to give my parents their very own home, small dream for some but it is all I ever wanted at the time. So as a teenager getting into college, I set my mind into getting into the Philippine’s most prestigious state university which gave scholarships for free, graduating, getting a good job and finally reaching my dreams. I was not the smartest cookie in the jar but I knew, with God, anything is possible.Came exam results day, I was told that I didn’t get in. To say I was crushed was an understatement. I though I had already failed the first step into reaching my dreams. I bawled my eyes for weeks on end but I don’t have the time to sulk. The new school year is about to start and I have yet to find a school that would accept me. The first time I set foot on Miriam College, I was hesitant. The exclusive school was known for quality education that comes with a high price, which I know we could not afford but I came in with a purpose, to get a scholarship.Getting into Miriam College was like a dream. It was as if everything was made easy for me. Before I knew it, I was awarded a 50% scholarship which opened a lot of doors for me. Inside the institution we were taught about the realities of life and they pour their energies into instilling in us the values of a woman leader in service. From a little girl that dreamt of things that were going to make life easier for her and her family, I became a woman that longed to lead and serve change for the better. Miriam College was also the institution that gave me the chance to be a Scranton Scholar. I am eternally grateful to be able to be given this opportunity not only because of the educational assistance, which I am eternally grateful for, but the community it had introduced me into. I now belong to a community of aspiring women leaders like me that are bound to change the world for the better someday. With this, I believe that not getting into my dream school was a gift from God, a way for him to execute his plans for me; And now, it is my duty to be able to do what I can to be the best version of myself, leading and serving in the way that I know. I have been a Scranton Scholar for almost 1 and a half months now and I am proud to tell all of you that I was awarded my 4th Dean’s List certificate in a row since I was a first year for last semester, a leadership certificate also for last semester and I am now running for position for our Batch Council. I can’t wait to tell all of you more in the coming months. Love all the way from the Philippines!

  • Audrae Cruz
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  • Miriam College
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  • 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship

The First is Never Easy

Everyone in this world must have experienced the one called “ First Time”. And we have to admit that it was never easy. Just like a baby that trying to walk the first time, they failed, they fell down, they cried, but the next day they try again until they can walk. So are we, this pandemic situation is the new and the first time ever for everyone. Everyone has their own worries, struggles before, during, and after this pandemic. Some worry about what would they eat for tomorrow, some worry about when will they hanging out with friends outside, and the other worry about how can they continue their education. But in the end we all want the same thing, for this situation to be ended and we can go back to our normal life before like nothing ever happen like we have nothing to worry about when we go outside our house.Seeing the situation right now, both made me happy but also sad. I am happy that some people can start their business again, the economy was spinning again. But what saddened me is that people start to underestimate the condition and ignored the appeal or the protocol that set by the government in this situation. The first time we facing this pandemic is not easy. We have been through a lot of things these past few months, some fall down, lose jobs, bankrupt, got infected, lose their loved ones. But I do not think this is over yet, we still have a lot of struggle that waiting in front of us. I am not a doctor or scientist, but I can make sure that as long as the vaccine or antivirus for this virus is not found yet we can not just enjoying our lives while ignoring the health protocol.I really hope that in this situation we, humans, can be more sensitive towards what happens around us. There are many people out there, who before this pandemic happen is already struggling with their life, and became more struggling during this pandemic. If I, we, you, can not support financially, at least please do not be the reason for this virus to thrive and more spreading. Be kind, share love, and stay positive in this situation, because we all share the same feelings ??.

  • Nadya Violenta
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  • Duta Wacana Christian University
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  • 2019 Undergraduate Scholarship
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