Determined to fin-ish college and pursue her passion despite feeling like all hope is gone, Laila patiently waited until she got the news she’s been waiting for.
“Come sophomore year, my family and I finally received the life-changing news that I was accepted as an EDC CAREERS scholar,” said Laila.
CAREERS or College Admission, Review, and Readiness Program is EDC’s main corporate social responsibility program that primes top graduating but financially challenged high school students from its geothermal sites in Leyte, Negros Island, Bicol, and North Cotabato and bridges them to a college education either in the University of the Philippines or in similarly prestigious local universities.
Now on its eighth year, the program helps top-performing students make the most of their potential, which are otherwise neglected due to poor opportunities in rural communities. Although college opportunities are rare for rural public high school graduates, they have been proven to have equal potential as those who are better advantaged.
CAREERS provides minimal financial support as part of their daily living expenses in school and guides them psychologically and emotionally for their challenging college life through various activities like values formation, career mentoring, and even up to job placement support after graduation.
Since 2011, CAREERS has had 172 scholars, 68 of which are from Negros Island. Forty-six of the Negros scholars studied in various University of the Philippines campuses while the rest are in Silliman University and Negros Oriental State University. Forty-one of them have already graduated as of this year.
Despite passing the University of the Philippines Admission Test (UPCAT), Laila decided to continue her college education in Silliman University so she can still be close to her family.
Through CAREERS, Laila was able to pursue her dream of finishing college closer to home. With her hard work and determination, she graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and was awarded Outstanding Student Teacher of the year. Laila Isabel Galera, a scholar of geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) from Valencia National High School since 2012, had difficulty enrolling in college without adding financial burden to his family, especially to her father who is their sole breadwinner. “My academic awards may not reflect my intelligence in other fields but the profession I am pursuing as a teacher is what I am passionate about and where I feel most accomplished,” expressed Laila. “If that blessing of being an EDC CAREERS scholar never came, maybe my story would have been different.” EDC is the country’s premier renewable energy company and one of the world’s largest geothermal producers. Its geothermal facilities in Valencia, Negros Oriental has been providing clean, renewable, reliable power 24/7 to Negros Island and other parts of the Visayas region for over 36 years.