Simone Gabrielle Balaba, a high school senior from Cebu, Philippines, has achieved a remarkable feat in her academic journey. She has been offered scholarships totaling more than PHP 55 million ($1.1 million) from nine colleges and universities in the United States.
The 18-year-old Balaba, who attends the Science and Technology Education Center (STEC) High School, a small public school for highly gifted children in Lapu-Lapu City had always dreamed of studying abroad, despite the limited opportunities available to students like her. She is also a HUMSS student and not the typical STEM student achiever and was not too involved in science and mathematics. However, she was determined to make her dream a reality.
After working hard on her college applications, Balaba received admission offers from nine excellent US schools, namely, Augustana College, DePaul University, Fisher College, Hawaii Pacific University, Hollins University, Knox College, University of La Verne, Whitworth University, Xavier University.
To her surprise, these schools also offered her a combined scholarship package worth $995,920.00 or Php55,134,131.20. The generous financial aid packages will cover the cost of tuition and some other expenses that come with studying in the US.
“This incredible opportunity is a testament to the hard work and support of so many people in my life, and I am truly humbled by the faith that these colleges have placed in me,” Balaba said in her social media post where she thanked her family, friends, and teachers who believed and encouraged her to pursue her U.S. college applications.
Balaba is now preparing to embark on her next journey in the US and is asking for support from kind-hearted groups and individuals who can cover her expenses for books, travel, and other daily needs.
“As I prepare for this exciting next chapter in my education, I am also keenly aware of the financial realities that come with attending college. While I am fortunate to have received generous scholarships and financial aid packages (more than PHP 52 Million), there are still other expenses such as textbooks, room and board, and transportation that will require additional support.
“Therefore, I am actively seeking sponsors and benefactors who may be willing to help fund these necessary expenses. Any support that I receive will be a tremendous help in allowing me to fully engage in my college experience and pursue my academic goals with focus and determination,” the Cebuana lass said.
You may contact Simone Balaba through her Facebook page.
Filipino students who overcame personal challenges and received multiple U.S. scholarship offers include Negros Island’s Enzo Miguel Kho who chose Princeton University, Capiz farmer’s son Aldrean Alogon who chose Wesleyan University and Isabela farmer’s son Benjamin Baui who chose Xavier University.
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