Graduates with the Shell facilitators
Cum Laude graduates with the Shell Business Operations Interview Upskilling facilitators

On May 2, 2017, 83 Shell Gas Mo, Bukas Ko – Fund for University Education and Leadership Development (GMBK-FUEL) scholars from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) – Sta. Mesa were conferred with bachelor degrees. 23 of them graduated cum laude and two were magna cum laude.

The GMBK-FUEL Scholarship was a two-and-a-half-year programme of Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) for 100 deserving students of PUP who took the following courses: Bachelor of Science (BS) Industrial Engineering, BS Electrical Engineering, BS Chemical Engineering, BS Accountancy, and Bachelor of Transportation Management.

The race

Getting a university degree was not without challenges. Apart from the academic hurdles, many of the scholars had to overcome personal issues and work extra hard to keep the scholarship.

“Growing up, I did not experience many things that people my age were enjoying. That pushed me to exert extra effort in everything I do. By not having it all, I’m inspired to work harder. I use my talent not just to finance my needs, but also to help my family,” said Christian Paul Llait, a BS Industrial Engineering graduate.

Amidst all challenges, the scholars were able to drive their way to the finish line and GMBK-FUEL has certainly fuelled them to complete the race.

“The scholarship helped me a lot. Aside from the free tuition and allowance, it opened a lot of opportunities for me, like having an internship at Shell – one of the leading companies in the country,” Llait added.

Safety Summit champion team
Ford Driving Skills iDrive for Safety Summit champion team from PUP

The milestones

Committed to excel in everything they do, the scholars have succeeded in bringing awards for their university. In October 2016, six students taking up Bachelor of Transportation Management participated in the Ford Driving Skills iDrive for Safety Summit and were awarded Php 50,000 to fund their winning road safety plan proposal; five of the them were GMBK FUEL Scholars: Carmina Mercado – team captain, Albert Malasa, Dan Julius Ramirez, Joseph Guevarra, and Claire Belran.

More than a scholarship

Not only did PSFI help students finish their studies, but it also helped in upgrading university facilities by refurbishing classrooms and providing additional equipment such as computers and whiteboards that were donated to three colleges: College of Engineering, College of Accountancy and Finance; and College of Tourism, Hospitality, and Transportation Management.

The champions

83 out of the 100 students were able to maintain the scholarship, completing the race in obtaining a university degree despite all the hurdles. Moreover, the 14 scholars who took Electrical Engineering passed the board exams conducted on September 2-3, 2017.

Indeed, the Shell fuel that makes the road’s journey better is the same fuel that makes life’s journey better.

By Genevieve Generoso

Article published on PSFI news magazine October 2017 issue