Thirty-two ANCOP scholars graduated from Santander National High School, 9 awarded for academic excellence and various achievements. We the Sisters of Mary of Queen of Heaven Missionaries in Cebu, Philippines are proud that they had been under our care.
March 28, 2015 was the most awaited day for our thirty-two ANCOP scholars who finally marched down the aisle during the graduation ceremonies. Nine of them graduated with honors and received various awards.
Leading the awardees was the valedictorian of the batch Anna Grace Burburan. She expressed how grateful she is to God and to our community the Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries for coming to their place and help especially the poor. “Because of your assistance I am able to continue my schooling even though we are financially hard up,” she shared to us.
“I also thank ANCOP Canada for their full support. My scholarship helped me strive to excel in my studies and to finish school strong,” Anna Grace added. She likewise expressed appreciation of the support of people who in one way or another helped her and her co-graduates.
Other awardees were Angelito Tano, Aizel Binetez, Maricar Cortezano, Johnrey Dinawanao, Cherrymae Emia, Ariel Jugo, Jay-R Omay, and Jean Tapere.
During the graduation rites, we saw the joy and happiness on the faces of our students. Many of them told us, Sisters, how difficult life had been for them, and that finishing high school is a step towards the realization of their dreams.
For many of the parents, their children’s graduation offers hope for a better life for their families. Jacqueline Balmocena, mother of ANCOP scholar Johnbstone Balmocena expressed that this would not have been possible without the help of ANCOP, and without our persistent effort to seek out their children to avail of the ANCOP scholarship. “We parents would like to return your kindness,” Jacqueline told us. “We are offering ourselves for service in our community, and we are going to hold a thanksgiving novena,” she added.
There was a great sense of thankfulness among our graduates and their families as the graduation exercises drew to a close. Most of the families gathered together and approached us in a celebratory gesture.
For us Sisters, this occasion makes us more determined to continue this noble mission God has entrusted to us. Through the ANCOP scholarship, we are confident that we can continue to help make dreams come true to many more hopeful poor children in rural areas.
We, Sisters of Mary of Queen of Heaven Missionaries, truly appreciate ANCOP’s help in our work for the poor!
By Sr. Clare Pedoche, MQHM Missionary Sister/Social Worker, Cebu City
Editor’ Note: This article has been edited from its former version.