Former Aboitiz scholars, now AboitizPower engineers
Dextr Balansag, one of the newest Cadet Engineers of Therma Marine 1 in Maco, Davao de Oro
“Great things happen to those who are determined to pursue their dreams,” said Lucky Catalan, one of the two Aboitiz scholars who recently joined the ranks of engineers at AboitizPower.
Lucky and fellow scholar Dextr Balansag graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree from St. Joseph Institute of Technology in Agusan del Norte after getting a full-ride scholarship from the Aboitiz Foundation.
Just this year, Lucky and Dextr were among those who passed the Mechanical Engineering Licensure Examination, which had a national passing rate of only 56%. The two Aboitiz scholars are now cadet engineers at the AboitizPower subsidiary plants Therma Marine 1 in Maco, Davao de Oro, and Therma Marine 2 in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
The road to becoming licensed engineers has not been easy for Lucky and Dextr. They recounted how they often faced challenges throughout their college careers and persisted in getting where they are today.
“I was having a really hard time with some of the subjects,” shared Dextr. “But I knew I had to work harder and persevere if I wanted to keep my scholarship.”
Having to deal with the sky-high cost of education on top of the already tough curriculum is an unfortunate reality for most Filipino students.
In many ways, the life of a scholarship kid comes with its own challenges. But at least for these two, not worrying about the money takes off a considerable amount of pressure and has helped them perform better in academics.
“I am so grateful to have been an Aboitiz scholar. They helped me with my financial needs throughout college and even shouldered the expenses for my board exam review. I felt assured then that I will definitely become a licensed mechanical engineer someday,” Lucky said.
Aside from financial concerns, Lucky mentioned that he also had a hard time looking for suitable on- the-job training opportunities. “Fortunately, I was accepted to be a part of the AboitizPower team for my OJT,” he added.
He mentioned that his experience as a scholar and as an AboitizPower intern definitely helped him become more confident and job-ready.
Although they struggled to overcome many challenges, Lucky and Dextr are thrilled to have been given a chance to make their dreams a reality.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for AboitizPower as it also allowed me to express my appreciation for being an Aboitiz scholar. Here, I can use everything I’ve learned in college and give back by demonstrating my abilities and contributing to the company’s purpose of driving change for a better world,” Lucky said.
For Dextr, being a part of the energy company makes him happy and proud. “I am nervous but also excited as I continue to grow and develop with AboitizPower.”
The two scholars-turned-engineers said determination is key for those who want to follow in their footsteps. “There will always be challenges along the way, but always remember why you started, stay the course, and enjoy the process.”
Opening doors of opportunities for students like Lucky and Dextr is one of the ways the Aboitiz Group and its subsidiaries are advancing business and communities. By enabling these deserving scholars to achieve quality education, the company continues to empower the next generation of industry leaders and steadily contribute to successful nation-building and development. #