In November 2014, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) launched the Gas Mo, Bukas Ko – Fund for University Education and Leadership Development (GMBK-FUEL) scholarship programme in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) – Manila.
Under the programme, 100 students from different fields (Accountancy, Engineering, and Transportation) are provided with full tuition fee subsidy and stipend. Aside from that, the scholars get to participate in a range of trainings conducted by Shell.
For two years now, the programme has been instrumental in addressing the educational needs of the scholars. Not taking the opportunity for granted, the scholars have consistently worked hard to excel in both academic and extracurricular activities.
Outstanding Scholar of the Year
The top of his class, Jomari Gingo (Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering), was awarded one of the Outstanding Scholars of the Year (A.Y. 2015-2016) by PUP. Receiving the award with him was his mother, who has been his inspiration. “She’s very proud of me. She’s also happy because it was her first time to visit the campus,” he uttered with enthusiasm.
At 19, Gingo already has a vision for his future – to serve the country. While some of his cousins have already established their lives abroad, he has no plans to follow suit. “I would prefer to stay in this country. I have dreamed of establishing a business to provide jobs to Filipinos and at the same time, teach,” he added.
Shell Eco-Marathon Asia
With the goal of surpassing past records, Team PUP worked hard on their prototype car for Shell Eco-marathon Asia (SEMA) held last March at Luneta Park. “We just made history,” said Louie Bombales, a BS Electrical Engineering student and the leader of Team PUP.
For the first time, the team’s car under the gasoline prototype category established a valid record of 79km/L (compared to last year’s “no valid run” record), placing them 11th out of 36 competing teams in Asia. “We have sacrificed a lot and it’s all worth it,” Bombales expressed with utmost joy. Meanwhile, PUP’s entry to the Diesel category, the PUP Hygear, placed 4th - the highest rank since PUP joined SEMA in 2014.
Community Action Leadership Exchange in Singapore
Two scholars, currently in their senior year, were chosen to be part of PUP’s pool of representatives in the Community Action Leadership Exchange programme in Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore last year (October 19-November 6, 2015). Because of their outstanding academic and extracurricular performance, Shinny Dantes – Bachelor of Transport Management (BTM) and Jayson Talusan – Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) were able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The participants engaged in programmes in line with technical-vocational education and training. Furthermore, they participated in a series of workshops where they worked in teams to apply technical skills and knowledge in developing social innovation projects with their Singaporean counterparts.
“Upon seeing the university in Singapore, you would wish for the same amenities and facilities at your own university,” Talusan said. Meanwhile, Dantes noted how Singapore operates their transportation system: “In the future, I hope we could have a transport system, maybe not the same as theirs, but as efficient as what they have. Who knows, I could be part of the team that could make this possible.”
Best Delegates in Internal Audit Youth Summit
Wherever they go, the GMBK-FUEL scholars continuously leave marks that make everyone proud. Last May 7, two GMBK-FUEL scholars were among the five students who were awarded as the Best Delegates in the Internal Audit Youth Summit 2016 held at Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pasig City. Jasper Rodavis and Rachael Garcia, both on their last year of the BS Accountancy course in PUP, were awarded with a medal, certificate, and scholarship for internal audit review.
Of the around 200 delegates who participated in the event, the PUP team composed of six delegates bagged the top prize award in the case analysis competition. Five members of the team were GMBK-FUEL scholars (Rodavis, Garcia, Mark Anecito Perlas, Tricia Andres, and Rhenz Nicole Parada).
OJT at Shell
Committed in helping the scholars unleash their full potential, Shell granted the GMBK-FUEL scholars to have their On-the-Job Training in the company. Three Industrial Engineering students, Christian Paul Llait, Tricia Ann Carlos, and Joylyn Abraham, had their training at Shell Pandacan Terminal in 2015. They were assigned in Facilities Management; Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) Department; and Stocks Central Team Department, respectively.
“It was a great experience. You are treated professionally, but it feels like you are working with a family,” said Abraham referring to her work experience at Shell. She added that the Golden Rules of Shell – Comply, Intervene, and Respect, made her more disciplined in her actions and words.
For Llait, his training with Shell has significantly improved his confidence. “The work culture of Shell, the ‘flat management’ made us feel like we’re equal to the regular employees; that boosted my confidence in communicating and dealing with different kinds of people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Carlos noted how Shell values safety: “I’m glad to have had my OJT at Shell. The company’s regard for safety is exceptional. I’m amazed of the work ethics and dedication of Shell staff in order to achieve goal zero and ensure the safety of employees, people in the community, and the environment.”
Educational trip to Shell Business Operations (SBO)
Part of the GMBK-FUEL scholarship programme is the opportunity to partake in educational tours organized and conducted by Shell. Last May, 68 scholars visited the Shell Business Service Centre (SBSC) in Makati. They were introduced to different support services relevant to SBO around the globe.
Some scholars are also involved in promoting better learning environment for the school. The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers – PUP Chapter, headed by Jayson Talusan, initiated the renovation of eight classrooms at the College of Engineering last year. With sponsorship from Shell and other organizations, they were able to repaint rooms and fix electrical installations. According to Talusan, this year, they are trying to improve the ventilation of classrooms by installing new electric fans.
Although the abovementioned projects would mean additional work for him, Talusan is elated to hear compliments from many of the students: “One time, a student told me I’m his ‘idol.’ I did not believe it at first, but as more and more students express their appreciation to what I’m doing, I suddenly feel this sense of joy and fulfilment growing in me.”
One more year
With two more semesters left before graduation, we are optimistic that the GMBK-FUEL scholars will not only strive to reach the end of their tertiary education, but also strive to fulfil their dreams.
By Genevieve Generoso
Article published on PSFI news magazine October 2016 issue