ORMOC CITY – “I just wanted to be cum laude. But when I heard her promise to give laptops to those who graduate magna or summa cum laude, I was inspired to aim higher. I knew I could do it,” said Jinky Lyn Amaza, one of two college scholars of Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez who graduated Magna cum Laude last April and got the promised laptops this Friday, November 9, 2012.
On the verge of tears as she thanked Richard and Cong. Lucy T. Gomez profusely, she also encouraged Lucy’s scholars in the audience “to believe in yourself, you can do it!”
Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez and husband Richard Gomez gave Jinky Lyn Amaza and Gerald Garciano, another Magna cum Laude graduate, a laptop each in fulfillment of the “laptop challenge” that the congresswoman made when she met her scholars for the first time, at the start of her term.
Amaza, in an interview, said that she is one of the scholars of the former congressman that Lucy continued to fund, adding she is grateful that the congresswoman was sincerely generous and disdained traditional politics. “I was happy when she continued my scholarship. It made me work harder and prove to her I was worth the scholarship”, she said. Without the scholarship, she admits, she might not have been able to graduate on time.
To recall, Lucy continued the scholarships of her predecessor despite pressure from supporters to drop them. The congresswoman stood her ground, saying she cannot stomach the thought of making young people suffer just because they were sons and daughters of supporters of her political opponent.
Instead, she asked her supporters to give her a little more time and will find a way to fund more scholars. This was another of her promises that she made good.
In her speech before the scholars at the Eastern Visayas State University-Ormoc Campus this week during the awarding of the laptops, Rep. Gomez said when she became congresswoman, she found out her district only had 46 scholars funded by the Commission on Higher Education.
Each got a financial assistance of P 2,500.00 per semester, which Lucy observed was not even enough. One of her first acts was to allot a portion of her PDAF to fund more scholars and now, she has 186 academic scholars and more than 300 TESDA scholars.
Her “good news” does not end there, she said, adding that after consulting with husband Richard Gomez, who is also her chief of staff, they’ve decided to increase the financial assistance to P 5,000 per semester per scholar starting next school year. The audience lustily cheered her announcement, knowing it would make their studies much more easier.
In return, Lucy asked her scholars to pass all their subjects, complete all their requirements and hoped there would be more Magna and Summa cum Laudes from them so she could give out more laptops by the next awarding.
The young crowd also cheered Richard Gomez, who told them of his political bid for mayor of Ormoc, saying that if elected, he wanted them to join him “at the City Hall to help develop Ormoc”.
“We believe in the power of the youth”, Richard told the scholars, “and we want you to be with us in our work to bring progress to the city when you graduate.”
Aside from awarding the computers to the two graduates, Cong. Gomez also inducted the officers of the EVSU-Congressional Office Scholars.
The officers of the organization of congressional scholars are led by their president Jonaliza Flores, vice-president Rosel Indolos, secretary Angel Mahinay, treasurer Harlene Bongbong, auditor Gienebel Anoos, PIOs Jimuel Flores and Elvie Sison, and representatives Juvy Maghanoy and Jevelyn Pocdol for education, Marchie Aligway and Apple Jane Donayre for technology, and Danilo Jordan and Robert Pitongco for engineering.
EVSU Registrar Genelyn Calzada organized Lucy’s scholars into a group so that they can help each other and have a unified voice when faced with problems, and added they even have included social commitment as part of their mission and vision. The next day, she informed the Gomezes, the scholars will do a tree-planting at Lake Danao as their legacy to the future, so that they will have a lasting memory of the days when a pretty congresswoman gave them a chance for a better future with her scholarship program. By Lalaine M. Jimenea