Building the Future: 44 Scholars Graduate from GBF Technical School Program

Iskolar ni Juan helps students secure employment and contribute toward nation building. Story by the GBF and the JG Summit teams

Building the Future: 44 Scholars Graduate from GBF Technical School Program

Forty-four outstanding youth scholars recently completed the Iskolar ni Juan (INJ) Tech-Voc Scholarship Program of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) in partnership with Universal Robina Corporation (URC). The program's industry-standard curriculum provides promising students with education-to-employment opportunities by ensuring they are academically proficient and have the necessary technical skills for today's evolving industries.  

Since 2014, the INJ Tech-Voc Scholarship Program has supported high school graduates and out-of-school youth. To date, 508 scholars have successfully finished the program; 58 are currently in training at the GBF Technical Training Center in Calamba City, Laguna.

Engr. Raymund Ganotice, GBF Technical Training Center School Director, led the graduation ceremony of INJ batches 15B and 16. They recently completed GBF's Mechatronics Servicing course and obtained a 100% batch passing rate in TESDA's National Certificate II (NCII) assessment. “Each of you has faced unique challenges and overcome obstacles to arrive at this moment – the culmination of countless hours of study, lab and practical exercises, OJT, and self-discovery,” said Engr. Ganotice. “We celebrate not only the knowledge you have acquired but also the resilience and determination that have become an integral part of your character.”

Engr. Raymund L. Ganotice, GBF Technical Training Center School Director, gives his welcome remarks. Photo by Lucky E. Dela Rosa for Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

Jesha Eve Gregorio, an outstanding Iskolar ni Juan from Batch 15B, spoke on behalf of the graduates. Though she already had a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, she applied to the scholarship program to enhance her technical skills and secure stable employment. In her short speech, she thanked GBF and URC for their support, especially during her board exam preparations that coincided with her on-the-job training. Today, Gregorio works as an instrumentation technician at URC Cebu and is a licensed electrical engineer.

Engr. Jesha Eve B. Gregorio from INJ Batch 15B is now employed as an instrumentation technician at a URC facility in Cebu. Photo by Lucky E. Dela Rosa for Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

Another success story is Harold Ferraren Mutia. Originally from Mindanao, Mutia ventured to Luzon for his studies and to attain better opportunities to support his family. Despite the hardships, he remained committed to his education and shone as a natural leader in school. Mutia expressed his deep gratitude for the transformative opportunity provided by the INJ program, which he became aware of thanks to one of his teachers. "Nakatulong ang Iskolar ni Juan na gisingin ang natutulog kong pangarap na noon ay aking kinalimutan ngunit ngayon ay pinagsisikapan (Iskolar ni Juan helped reawaken my dreams, which I had forgotten for a time, but I am now striving to achieve again),” he said. As an INJ graduate, he is thankful for being given the chance to pursue his studies, undergo training, and secure employment.

Harold Mutia from INJ Batch 16 is currently undergoing on-the-job training at the URC plant in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental. Photo by Lucky E. Dela Rosa for Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

Speaking at the ceremony, Arnel Nuñez, URC Director of Corporate Maintenance, urged the graduates to live up Gokongwei Brothers Foundation’s vision of providing every Filipino with access to education that enables them to work and contribute to family and the country. “As technical scholars, you are equipped not only to navigate the complexities of your chosen field but to lead, innovate, and contribute meaningfully to society,” said Nuñez. “Remember that success is not just an individual accomplishment but the result of a community coming together to support and inspire one another.”  

Arnel Nuñez, URC Branded Consumer Food Group Director of Corporate Maintenance, enjoined the graduating scholars to live up to the vision of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation. Photo by Lucky E. Dela Rosa for Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

In 2024, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation is strengthening its commitment to making education accessible, creating the path for countless more stories of triumph and inspiration. It plans to expand the Iskolar ni Juan Program and is currently seeking more partners to provide subsidies and additional job opportunities. As part of these collaborations, the GBF Technical Training Center will craft a curriculum aligned with industry needs, technology, and TESDA standards.

The Iskolar ni Juan program will accept applications for a new batch of scholars in January 2024. Senior high school graduates are invited to apply. INJ scholars enjoy fully subsidized technical training. This includes allowances aside from free tuition, dormitory stay, school supplies, and TESDA National Certificate II assessment fees.

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