COCO Farm Youth Graduates as Summa Cum Laude

The United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)- Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Foundation recently announced that another 48 scholars graduated this school year 2011-2012 from various state colleges under the COCOFOUNDATION Scholarship program.

Last month, Henzel Mae Manginsay Ymbol, B.S. Mathematics, graduated as the 1st Summa Cum Laude of Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) after 54 years of its existence.   She also garnered the prestigious Leadership Award as well as other Medals of Excellence.  NORSU has a student population of over 20,000 and has 7 campuses in the province.



(Summa Cum Laude graduate Henzel Mae M. Ymbol with her proud parents and her youngest sibling.)

Two days after her graduation, Henzel was brought to the UCPB Main Office in Makati where she had the chance to express her heartfelt gratitude to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for her scholarship.  She was presented with a medal of excellence, cash incentive and a job offer that she never expected.

 “I am overwhelmed that I am now working with UCPB and I will take this as an opportunity for me to serve my sponsor. I could still remember that right after my graduation from high school, I went to the seashore near our house in San Juan, Siquijor and looked at Dumaguete City from a distance.  I knew at that time that my parents did not have enough money to send me to a college there.  Then came the scholarship of UCPB-CIIF Foundation which was the answer to my prayers”, Henzel recounted the day she graduated as Class Valedictorian of Catulayan National High School.  She said that she did burn the midnight candle to study her lessons as her parents could not afford to pay for electricity.  She conducted tutorial classes in Math when she was in college so that she could borrow the laptop of her tutees to finish her thesis or projects. 

Now that she has a job as Market Risk Specialist in the Makati, Henzel said that she will be able to send money to her parents who continue to tend the coconut trees despite their sickly condition.  Further, she can now pay for the school fees of her younger brother who will finally be able to go to College after graduating from high school three years ago.  Henzel is the eldest of five siblings. 

In 2004, the Foundation launched the COCOFOUNDATION Scholarship as its flagship program and since then, financial assistance has been granted to 1,433 children of small coconut farmers in 52 provinces - 911 scholars in more than 40 state colleges and 522 students in Don Bosco Training Centers for vocational courses.  About 53% of the scholars are from Mindanao since the area has the highest density of coconut farm lands while 27% are from Luzon and 20% from the Visayas. 

To date, 387 children of small coconut farmers have graduated from various universities and 417 have completed vocational/technical courses under the COCOFOUNDATION Scholarship. Henzel is the first Summa Cum Laude scholar-graduate of the Foundation while four scholars have graduated Magna Cum Laude and 55 with Cum Laude honors. 

For pupils in the primary level, the Foundation donates educational materials under the UCPB-CIIF: Kabalikat sa Edukasyon Project in support of the 57/75 movement to assist schools in improving the National Achievement Test results of their pupils. Bright Minds Read kits have been awarded to 417 public schools in various coconut growing provinces in partnership with the Department of Education and Ronald McDonald House Charities.  By the end of 2012, the Foundation’s recipient schools for educational (TV) will reach 100 with complete training from ABS-CBN Foundation. 

UCPB-CIIF Foundation, Inc. was one of the founding members of the League of Corporate Foundation.