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SM Prime invests in future sustainability leaders with scholarship program

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Future sustainability leaders. Strengthening its commitment to both educational access and sustainability stewardship, SM Prime welcomes ten scholars from UPLB, who are taking up degrees in either Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology or Bachelor of Science in Forestry.

Inspired by the late Henry Sy Sr.’s belief in the power of education and driven by their commitment to sustainability, leading integrated property developer SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) has launched a scholarship program in partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

Aptly called the “SM Sustainability Scholarship,” the initiative reflects SM Prime’s commitment to both educational access and sustainability stewardship.

The program will fully support ten deserving students through their undergraduate studies at UPLB, providing them with the opportunity to pursue degrees in either Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology or Bachelor of Science in Forestry. These fields align with SM Prime’s focus on building resilient communities and fostering a sustainable future.

The scholarship recipients, meticulously chosen for their academic excellence and dedication to sustainability, were formally recognized during a meet-and-greet gathering at UPLB, marking the start of their journey as SM Sustainability Scholars.

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SM Sustainability Scholarship. In the photo are the SM sustainability scholars with the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ Office of Scholarships and Grants Director Assoc. Prof. Ariel L. Babierra, Ph.D., College of Forestry and Natural Resources’s Prof. Marilyn Combalicer, College of Human Ecology Dean Dr. Jennifer Amparo, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr, Janette Malata-Silva, Scholarship Affairs Officer Ivy Salarde and SM Prime AVP Rida Reyes-Castillo with the rest of the SM team.

Each scholar will receive a full scholarship covering tuition fees, a monthly living allowance, and a book allowance, ensuring they can focus on their studies without financial worries.

During the gathering, College of Human Ecology (CHE) Dean Dr. Jennifer Amparo expressed that the pursuit of sustainability is most effectively undertaken collaboratively.

“CHE is one of the colleges that puts a premium on interdisciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity because we believe that in sustainability, you don’t work in silos. We need to work together and build each other’s skills, know-how, and also our programs together to ensure sustainability,” she said.

“I would also like to thank SM Prime for putting emphasis on this scholarship. SM Prime did not just provide the finances or scholarships. They invested the time to really meet our scholars and provided other support mechanisms to ensure that our scholars thrive in their academic lives. This is also a manifestation of SM’s commitment to sustainability by really developing our future sustainability leaders,” she added.

College of Forestry and Natural Resources’ Prof. Marilyn Combalicer also extended the college’s support to the scholars on behalf of the college’s dean, Dr. Marlo Mendoza: “We hope to continue nurturing such meaningful collaboration and initiatives that enhance our educational experience and initiatives for our students. Rest assured that we will continue providing support to our students in ensuring their growth and success in both academia and beyond.”

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SM Prime’s AVP Rida Reyes-Castillo meets the SM sustainability scholars.

Meanwhile, SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR and Corporate Communications, Rida Reyes-Castillo, echoed that the fundamental values of the company are intricately interwoven with both education and sustainability.

“SM Group’s founder, Mr. Henry “Tatang” Sy, Sr. believed that education is a great equalizer, and he envisioned that sending one child to college would create ripples of social good not just for families but for an entire community,” she said. “The improvement of the well-being of the youth and the partner communities is something that we at SM invest in.”

For decades, the SM group has embraced the responsibility to contribute to nation-building through social good programs that are geared towards quality education, sustainable agriculture, healthcare, and disaster response. By helping improve the quality of life of the people in these host communities, social development and investment go hand in hand with business growth to achieve a better future for all.

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