SM Scholarship: A fighting chance to start anew

The SM Foundation Scholarship Program provides a chance for is alumnus Fritz Mendez to achieve his dream of a college education and a successful career

For those who have been in the shadows of hardships, a chance—a single spark—could be enough to illuminate the path to a brighter future.

For thousands of deserving students from vulnerable communities, like Fritz Mendez, the SM Foundation Scholarship Program is exactly that–a spark that ignited his will to live for a better tomorrow. 

Fritz’s journey to where he is today is anything but straightforward. Living in a vulnerable community, survival was the only thing he could think of. 

His mother was forced to leave her job as a domestic helper due to the war in Lebanon. This and several other familial problems forced him to stop attending school, feeling that escaping poverty was an impossible dream. 

When you live in our community, it seems expected of you not to go to college or have a degree because poverty is very rampant. I, however, had a dream inside me to show to my community and family that I can have a college degree,” he said. “Having an opportunity to fulfill that dream through the SM Scholarship is indeed a blessing I prayed for. I took all the courage to apply and the SM Foundation gave me a shot.”

SM Scholarship Program alumni Fritz takes his turn in inspiring the new generation of SM scholars.

Achieving the once-impossible dream

Starting college at the age of 19, and being older than his peers didn’t stop Fritz from developing his skills and making the most of the opportunity given to him. 

The supportive environment of the scholarship program and his involvement in church activities helped him turn his negative experiences into positive actions. He discovered his passion for writing and performing, his outgoing nature, and his leadership skills, which were honed through various church and school activities. 

Fritz also developed practical skills like budgeting and time management, crucial for his survival and success in college and future career. These experiences boosted his confidence and expanded his horizons.

The scholarship unleashed a new side of me. From merely thinking about survival, I developed a sense of responsibility, discipline, and an appreciation for the value of labor and money. This growth was particularly evident during my participation in the SM Scholarship’s summer job program, where I learned to budget my earnings effectively. I was able to provide for our household needs while still saving enough for my allowance in the upcoming semester.”

Family is everything. At work, Fritz encourages fellow employees to spread social good.

Living the dream

After earning his Accounting Technology degree in 2014, he landed his first and only job at BDO Unibank. 

Climbing the corporate ladder, he is now a senior teller while also serving as the Regional Director of the BDO Employees Association for the Visayas region. While managing key accounts in his area, he uplifts his colleagues, leads effectively, and proposes innovative welfare policies for his fellow employees.

The SM Group has taught me that family is everything. As an SM scholar, their encouragement and support showed me the true meaning of family. Now, working at BDO Unibank, I get to experience and demonstrate how to nurture my family,” he said.  

Today, Fritz is able to provide for his family’s essential needs and healthy living environment, especially for his mother who supported his dream of a better life.

Beyond this, the SM Scholarship gave hope to me, a high school student who could have accepted his fate. The SM Scholarship not only made me the only degree holder in a broken family but also provided an opportunity for me to envision a brighter, more promising future. It highlighted the potential for students like me to begin anew and forge our own paths toward success.”

Written by Village Connect

In a world where free quarterly print and online publications rule, Concept and Beyond Publishing (formerly, Tesmarias Publishing) a publisher of Village Connect (VC) stands out as a pillar and a trailblazer, raising the bar for complimentary magazines with quality reads that are tailored to discriminating Filipino urbanites.

As a print and digital publication, VC strives to provide readers an insightful glimpse into the ever-changing business landscape through relevant dialogue and inclusive coverage of trending news, information, and lifestyle tidbits within (and outside) the metropolis.

On a bigger scale, VC identifies and promotes Philippine innovations in various industries and connects them with Manila’s young and upbeat populace.

Since its founding in 2011, VC emerged as a household and business name, with a monthly circulation of 50,000 copies distributed FREE in Metro Manila, VC is targeted toward select villages, multi-dwelling outfits (condominiums, serviced apartments), banks, and lifestyle facilities including salons, wellness institutes, and beauty and fitness centers. It is also exclusively carried by Figaro Coffee Shops in Metro Manila – truly living up to its goal of connecting villages and businesses.

“Get Connected and Join the Conversation”

Connecting villages to the urban world where villages and businesses come together. Your information hub for urban and corporate living.

Should you have further queries, please feel free to contact us at the telephone number, (02) 7255-1092 or mobile numbers: (0916) 704-7815 or (0939) 592-7990 or visit our website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Investing in community health

Transforming Hotel Comfort with LG’s HVAC Innovations