St. Luke’s College of Medicine

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Passion and Perseverance

For Dyl Mesina, a native of Iligan City, the promise of a full scholarship from the St. Luke's College of Medicine was a dream come true.  A cum laude BS Biology graduate of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, she received free tuition, free laboratory and miscellaneous fees, and free books.

However, the challenge of living nearly 800 kilometers away from home and being on her own for the first time quickly took its toll on Dyl.  In her freshman year, she lost her scholarship due to poor academic standing.  Requirements are quite stringent: a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 85%, with no grade lower than 80%. "It wasn't that Dyl was a bad student," says Dr. Brigido L. Carandang, Jr., President and Dean of the SLCM, "but she had a hard time adjusting to life in Manila."

To compound matters, disaster struck Dyl's hometown in December 2011, Typhoon Sendong caused a landfall in northern Mindanao, leaving at least 1200 people dead and more than 100,000 homeless.  Iligan City was among the hardest hit, and Dyl's extended family lost 18 members in the flash floods, including her maternal grandparents.

With the weight of the tragedy still on their shoulders, Dyl's OFW parents could no longer support her medical education in the absence of a scholarship.  They urged her to look for other sources of funding, Dyl wrote to about 20 different corporations.  Her perseverance eventually paid off when one company finally replied.  After a series of interviews, a partial scholarship was granted.  Jollibee Foundation came to her rescue.  Though it was a fairly substantial amount, it would only be sufficient to cover her schooling for one semester.  It's enough to allow Dyl to pull her grades up, so she can get back on the scholarship track, and on to her dream of becoming a surgical oncologist someday.

Every year, between 50-60% of incoming freshman are awarded scholarships.  Of the present crop of 289 students, 115 are full scholars and 58 are partial scholars.

This scholarship program for deserving students is just one of the social causes of St. Luke's Medical Center for which the Resource Development Division raises funds.  Donations received, however little, go  a long way to also help fund initiatives in treating indigent patients through their medical social services program, and conducting medical research.  Ultimately, the goal is to initiate a change in the landscape of Philippine healthcare, allowing St. Luke's to give its patients, their loved ones, as well as others a chance for a better future.