We have been supporting students for 8 years now. As the kids have graduated from year to year, many are now entering senior high school and universities. Many students in Payatas do not know how they can apply to better senior high schools or universities, and many do not believe they are able or are financially capable of doing so. We have been working to show a better path for our students and ensure that if they work hard they can go how ever far they want to go.
We are also building a list of scholarships, internships, and employment opportunities to provide our students with the best possible choices. This includes sports scholarships, given the development of many of our footballers, as well as government and private scholarships on academic merit.
A typical senior high school or university scholarship is between Php 50,000 to Php 100,000 per year. This is substantial investment, but it is an investment. Aside from the higher lifetime taxes of a college graduate more than paying back that amount, the critical thinking, learning and understanding, and experience of higher education improve many other aspects of life. It also signals to others kids in the area that this is possible for them too; our existing crop of university scholars are inspiring the younger groups. Long term, investing in higher education means helping families break the cycle of poverty.
Pay it Forward
From kinder to graduate school, student must show responsibility to earn their support. We do not want to provide handouts, but rather create a better way for students to earn the support they receive.Through their attendance and grades in school and their participation in academic tutoring and personal development sessions in the Youth Center, younger students earn their support.
Older students take on more financial assistance for higher education, and so through a partnership with Fairplay they can “pay it forward.” Students will have access to all the support they need, including the social support, mental health, academic tutoring, and financial incentives. Some students may not need all four categories, but they will need several.
For all the financial assistance they receive at this level, they are expected to pay this forward upon finding stable employment. With 0% interest on these “students loans,” they therefore provide the opportunity for the next student to be able to go to senior high school and university. This means every scholarship will benefit not just one student, but in theory the support system is there in perpetuity.
As always we expect some spillage. There is never a 100% graduation rate and never a 100% collection rate int he real world. Even so, this program has the potential to recoup a significant portion of the costs and therefore need less and less support in future years. We expect a far higher graduation rate than the average in the community, and a far better collection rate than traditional lending in such a community would expect.
There is also something really affirming about providing an opportunity to a child, so that they can provide the same opportunities to another in their community. This is genuine empowerment. This is not a handout for which they must feel like a charity-case, but a contract and an agreement for a partnership. They earn their support by paying it forward.
Invest in Higher Education
We are seeking seed money to invest in the higher education of scholars in Payatas. You can become a part in building their future.
An investment of:
- Php 50,000 per year for senior high school / Php 100,000 for two years will help our senior high school scholars beat the odds stacked against them!
- Php 100,000 per year for university / Php 400,000 for a four-year course will empower our college scholars break the poverty trap!
This covers the scholars’ tuition and other school fees, uniforms, project materials, transportation, meals, books and other reading materials, etc. Some students will need much lower than this amount, some may even surpass it, especially if on a more expensive course (medicine, engineering, culinary arts, law, etc.).