For Berjaya scholar, Jomer Harvey Santos, being able to go to college has always been a far-fetched dream that he thought will never come into fruition. Little did he know that not only will this dream be realized, but that he will also be given a once in a lifetime chance of studying internationally – an opportunity that not only changed his life, but inspired him to be truly hopeful about the future.
“Studying in Berjaya University College of Hospitality (UCH) is an opportunity of a lifetime. It opened a lot of opportunities, especially the opportunity to learn. I became more advanced in the field I have chosen which is pastry making, and I can say that my knowledge and skills have greatly improved. This has given me an edge, and I will always be thankful for it,” said Harvey.
Harvey is just one of the 15 beneficiaries included in the 1st batch of scholars of Berjaya Foundation Philippines, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Berjaya Philippines Inc. The foundation chooses from thousands of less-privileged, yet deserving Filipino youths to sponsor their collegiate education in one of the top universities in Malaysia, Berjaya University College of Hospitality.
Aside from the tuition and miscellaneous fees, the Foundation also provides the students’ a monthly allowance of Malaysian Ringgit 1,500 to cover their accommodation and living expenses plus RM500 per semester for books. At this moment, Berjaya Foundation Philippines is changing the lives of 35 more scholars as the third batch recently left last January 8 for Malaysia, to take Diploma courses in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Tourism and Travel, and Events Management.
Berjaya Philippines believes in giving back to society the success which made Berjaya Group one of the top companies in the world. The foundation is headed by Berjaya Group Berhad’s founder Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan, and he said the scholarship grant is one of the most-fulfilling advocacies that the group is involved with.
Because of the foundation’s generosity, the fortunate recipients were also able to develop their intra-personal skills, making them more confident in dealing with different individuals – no matter the nationality.
“My education has definitely given me an edge. My extensive hands-on and practical experiences in college — where we have the Immersion Methodology or learning by doing — made me more confident in my skills. What we learned in classrooms were being practiced in a kitchen and operating restaurants. I also got the chance to meet and learn from celebrity chefs and industry leaders who were invited by our college. Furthermore, I am a product of a college that is recognized by World Association of Chefs for its quality culinary education. This knowledge made me more confident, and I know I’ll be able to perform well in my field,” Harvey said.
But more than the financial assistance, Harvey believes that being a Berjaya scholar has taught him something more.
“One of the greatest lessons I learned while studying at Berjaya UCH was investing on lifelong learning. I learned that it was never enough to be satisfied with your own knowledge and be contained with the lessons taught in classrooms. You have to be courageous to go out of the open to take challenges, experience triumphs, and sometimes fall without losing your ground and taking everything as lesson meant to be learned. Without Berjaya Foundation, that lesson will hold little meaning to us now. And for that, I will forever be grateful.”