CENTEX graduates visit Ayala Foundation

This year, the Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) celebrates its 15th anniversary. It is also the year that it finally sees its very first batch of kindergarten students finally graduate from college and take a step into the real world, ready to make it on their own.

Fifteen years ago, they were a bunch of bright-eyed kids eager to come to school every day, even as their families struggled through poverty. Today, some of them have finally finished college–and a few more are just a few steps away from reaching their dreams.

Started in 1998, CENTEX is a public school where bright children from economically disadvantaged families receive quality education and other forms of support to open up opportunities for a better life. CENTEX has had a total of 968 enrollees in both schools since it started, keeping classes intimate and student-focused. The school operates in Bauan, Batangas, and Tondo, Manila, by virtue of an agreement between the Department of Education and Ayala Foundation, Inc.

On May 2, graduates from CENTEX Manila visited the Ayala Foundation office and met with AFI President Luli Heras-de Leon, CENTEX Director Ramon Miranda, and other officers and staff. This meet-and-greet was also a way for the foundation to reach out to more CENTEX graduates, and to keep them involved in various activities of the program.

“We want to have more graduates like all of you,” shared de Leon, adding that the foundation and its partners are looking at ways to scale up the CENTEX program through its teachers-training program for public school teachers.

From its first batch of 75 CENTEX students back in 1998, a total of 25 have already graduated from college while the rest are expected to graduate later in the year. What’s more significant is that many of them didn’t just graduate–they graduated with flying colors. For instance, CENTEX graduate Asbel Elpos graduated magna cum laude from the Far Eastern University earlier in March with a degree in psychology.

CENTEX also continues to find ways to support its elementary graduates by offering scholarships to promising graduates. In addition, the program nurtures its students’ interest and talent in art, exposing past and present CENTEX students to music and visual arts programs.

“The school is not just a learning center, it is a family. You may run out of friends outside of school, but once you step into CENTEX, you’ll always find friends around,” said Timothy Mendoza of CENTEX Class 2011. Mendoza is currently enrolled at the Manila Science High School and has been actively involved in CENTEX’s arts programs.

In June, both CENTEX schools will welcome a new batch of kindergarten students, the selection process for whom were recently completed. At the same time, the program continues to support promising CENTEX graduates to high school.

To make a donation for CENTEX’s various programs, visitwww.ayalafoundation.org/donate.php


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