Making Dreams Come True

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One of the three core advocacies of Mater Dei College is Wisdom through Scholarship. The college achieves this through the different scholarship mechanics that are being offered to the rural Boholano youths. With the college’s pursuit to reach out to the community it offers quality yet affordable education to the studentry, essentially to the economically disadvantaged but deserving. MDC has further strengthened her scholarship program to cater to the needs of many students who aspire for a college education. The varied scholarship categories of the college are aimed not only to provide free education, but more importantly to make the dreams of hundreds of financially handicap students come true.

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The scholarship program at MDC is an extension of her mission for which the school was established, to provide tertiary education to the poor. Twenty- five years ago, the parents in the locality begged to the local government officials to find means that a small college could be constructed since they did not have the resources to send their children to the capital or to Cebu City in the neighboring province. A group of generous educators and religious people pooled their meager resources together and started a very small catholic college essentially to help the poor. Twenty-five years after, the ugly duckling has bloomed into a lovely swan after years of struggle to provide this basic need of the community.Every opening of the school year, about a hundred economically disadvantaged students apply for scholarship. All applicants are to fill out a form reflecting the family’s socio-economic background and the students’ scholastic standing before they are to take the scholarship exam. Only those whose parents have very low income and the applicants have high grades can take the exams. All honor students are given priority since they have the potentials to sustain the rigors of academic work.

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Since the institutional funds could not cover all of them, the rest of those who passed the scholarship exams and obtained high scores are to be distributed to different categories of benefaction. The school offers several types of scholarship: academic, institutional, Foundations, Associations, Board of Trustees, and Personal scholars. The latest addition is the MDC Faculty Scholarship Funds & Performing Arts Ensemble Scholarship. Those who are enjoying tuition waivers from different categories are organized into one advisory group called the SCHOLARS’ CIRCLE under the management of the Executive Vice- President, Dr. Ceferina H. Ranario, who is at the same time, the Scholarship Coordinator. Years ago, the program started with barely 50 scholars, mostly working scholars. Through the years, she has been soliciting benefactors from everywhere and now there are approximately 150 scholars, 15% of the total population. She is assisted by Mr. Pedro Aplacador, Jr. the Community Extension Services Coordinator of the school who does most of the leg work to expand this apostolate.There are students who could not enroll even if they qualified for a tuition waiver because their parents could not sustain their daily fare and lunch money since they live from other towns. So the Scholarship Coordinator has to solicit for benefactors to take care of their board and lodging, books, and other miscellaneous expenses. Some scholars are accommodated by the teachers in their homes and by other families who need some students to do errands for them during their free time. There are also institutional scholars who want to quit school for a while because their parents could no longer sustain their increasing school expenses and their other siblings in the family pleaded to have their turn to go to school. Thus, they quit school for a while and looked for jobs elsewhere. As soon as they can save enough to sustain them, they go back to school to finish their studies. But some had to quit school for good since their families needed their income for food and shelter.

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Due to these circumstances, the Coordinator proposed to put up the MDC FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS to save some institutional scholars from quitting. Teachers offered to have little amount deducted from their salary monthly to put up this emergency funds. The qualified students approved by the Scholarship Board get subsidized from these funds until graduation, effective AY 2008 – 2009.

Another marketing arm for scholarship innovated by the Coordinator is the presentation of shows by the PERFORMING ARTS ENSEMBLE. This group consists of around 30 dancers, singers, actors and actresses. They undergo workshops every semester in preparation for a show. They accept invitation only during break time. They present any variety show to somebody or to an organization that is willing to donate certain amount for scholarship funds. Last summer, the group was able to present 3 raving shows, one for a town fiesta, another one for a birthday celebration, and one for a post wedding reception. These shows enabled them to support some scholars from the group. Because of the preparation that the show entails, the request for a show has to be made at least 3 months before the designated date which should fall on the vacation time for students.Alumni of Mater Dei College who read this web site are invited to visit their school and see for themselves the expansion MDC has made through hard work and through the help of generous souls. Perhaps, you might be able to give a good turn to the least of your brethren by supporting the school’s scholarship program. Prospective benefactors may contact the scholarship coordinator, Dr. C. H. Ranario at her email ad: cefehranario@yahoo.com or tel. 038- 5088 -166 (Office) or cell 0929-468-9521.