Felongco SM Scholar alumna Engr. Mary June Felongco happily serves as a Resident Engineer at SM City Iloilo

SM scholar now a resident engineer

June 22, 2024 People's Tonight 202 views
As an SM employee, Engineer Mary June participates in diverse projects, honing her skills across different engineering disciplines.
Engr. Mary June spends time and share life learnings with younger scholars during the West Visayas leg of the SM scholar general assembly.

THE human spirit thrives on passion. It’s the fuel that ignites creativity, drives innovation, and propels us towards fulfilling lives. But for many, the path to pursuing their passions is riddled with various life constraints.

This was once the story of SM Group founder Henry Sy Sr. Familiar with the hurdles of life and how education can break down barriers, he established the SM Foundation Scholarship program to broaden the horizons of aspiring youth like Mary June Felongco.

Passion fueled by support

Since childhood, Mary June Felongco’s inquisitive mind has been captivated by the intricate mechanisms of machines. As she tinkered and pondered their inner workings, a spark ignited—a fascination that would define her dreams. Her family, though burdened by financial constraints, nurtured this budding passion, dreaming of one day having an engineer in the family.

It was during those formative years that Mary June’s mother saw the SM Scholarship Program poster near SM City Iloilo. “My mother was the one who inspired me to pursue the SM scholarship,” Mary June recalled. “My father’s dedication as our sole provider, coupled with my mother’s vision, served as my inspiration to work towards my dreams of becoming an engineer. In turn, it would lift our family from poverty.”

Fueled by her family’s support, she consistently rose to the top of her class and graduated as her high school’s salutatorian. Her mother remained by her side as she applied for the SM scholarship.

“We were really struggling financially back then. My eldest sister was in fourth-year college while my brother was taking a two-year tech-voc course. The scholarship was an answered prayer as I was able to pursue college.”

Turning the tide

With the SM Foundation scholarship as an added support system, Mary June was geared to ensure her college years would shape her personal and professional development.

While learning the ropes of engineering at her university, her part-time job at the SM Store during summer and Christmas breaks taught her to believe in herself and grab whatever opportunity for growth came her way.

“The scholarship provided more than just financial assistance, it opened doors for part-time employment at SM, allowing me to contribute to my family’s well-being while gaining invaluable practical experience. Upon graduation, SM Foundation also helped me in landing a job at SM,” she said.

“Truly, SM has got it all,” she smiled, sharing how SM has been with her every step of the way.

Today, as a resident engineer at SM, Mary June takes pride in her work ethic and integrity. As she journeys with SM, she continues to learn about perseverance, gratitude, and the boundless potential within each individual. “I’ve learned that anything is possible with hard work and integrity.”

At work, she is trained to be a well-rounded engineer, mastering the other aspects of her craft, continuously learning, and preparing her for bigger roles. Her accomplishments have not only improved her family’s quality of life but have also inspired her to pay it forward by supporting her brother’s education and giving her family a comfortable life, while enjoying other activities that balances her life.

“After I graduated and started working at SM, my older brother shared his dream of finishing a four-year criminology course,” she said.

“I am grateful that God fulfilled my dreams through SM. Now, it’s my turn. I am the instrument that God used to make the dreams of my loved ones come true. Words cannot express how happy and proud I am to have seen my brother, my scholar, march during his graduation,” she added.

Mary June’s life mirrors the intricate machines that once fascinated her as a child. Her journey has been a fine-tuned system of passion and support. The SM Foundation scholarship program ignited her potential, while her family’s belief laid the foundation for her dreams. Today, as an SM resident engineer, she shows how determination unlocks boundless opportunities, not just for her but also the people around her.

Since 1993, SM Foundation has been empowering deserving youth from vulnerable backgrounds to pursue their dreams through access to quality higher education. To date, the foundation has supported over 4,200 college scholar graduates.