JGF scholar gives thanks by giving back
Bryan Estillore, 21, an instructor at the Don Bosco Training Center in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, credits being a Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) scholar for where he is now.
Currently an instructor for Don Bosco’s Organic Agricultural Production (OAP) program, Bryan was at a loss on how to continue his education three years ago. Coming from a family of farmers barely eking out a living from less than a hectare of land in the hills of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, Bryan took on a job at an agro-chemical factory to help his family and save enough for college education.
When his mother got a job in Malaysia, Bryan applied for a slot at Don Bosco’s Automotive Servicing program. He was accepted and later elated that his mother’s remittances could be used for other necessities as he also got a scholarship courtesy of JGF thru its Access, Curriculum, and Employability (ACE) Scholarship Program.
ACE is one of the Foundation’s core programs. Since 2005, it has partnered with different schools to provide technical-vocational and college scholarships to over 1,700 underprivileged but deserving youth. In addition to financial support, scholars acquire the necessary skills that will prepare them for the workplace through internships with the Jollibee Foods Corporation’s service providers and stores.
As an ACE scholar, Bryan received tuition fee support and a monthly travel allowance. Along with other JGF scholars, he also participated in the Matalas na Alas (Sharp ACE) workshop, a two-day life skills training to further sharpen their communication and social abilities, and prepare them for the workplace.
While Bryan’s intentions for getting an Automotive Servicing certification was to be able to work abroad, his experience as a JGF scholar, as well as coming from a farming family, made him decide to join Don Bosco’s Organic Agriculture Program as one of its first batch of trainees, to give back to others for the blessings he has received.
Bryan coaching one of his students on how to make organic concoctions (fertilizers).
Bryan has now been involved in training two full batches of agriculture students, some 50 in all and mostly JGF scholars as well. Don Bosco is now awaiting TESDA approval for it to be a Certification site for organic agriculture.
“Teaching is my way of helping the youth who don’t have the means to study. Our goal is to encourage more young people to take interest in agriculture to help attain food security for communities. We teach students that they can be more than farm laborers; they can become farm technicians or farm managers,” he said.
Despite foregoing his dreams of going abroad, Bryan is happy with his choice of becoming an instructor for agriculture. He feels that the opportunities to do good in this field far outweighs the monetary rewards of going abroad.
Bryan with some of his students and their organic concoctions. They are joined by Edgardo Villamante, one of Bryan’s mentors from the San Jose City Agriculture Office.