As part of the advocacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle to deliver inclusive education to students from all walks of life, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas has been continuously expanding the reach of its Night College Scholarship.
In a recent feature by the Marketing Communications Office, Lasallian volunteer faculty members shared their reasons for donating their services for free and discussed what made the scholarship one of a kind.
According to Epitacio Mendiola, DLSU-D's Night College Coordinator, the program started under the College of Business Administration in 1989 as an idea by senior faculty members like Dean Jorge Campostano, Professor Tenorio and Dwight Corleto. The initial goal was to offer scholarships to needy students but the program has evolved since then.
“The goal now is to extend the program so that more scholars can benefit from more programs,” he said. Targeted towards indigent individuals or youth of Cavite, the scholarship is open to people who have finished their high school education but have no means to go to college.
Scholarships offered by the Night College gives them a means to achieve their dreams to obtain their diplomas and forge a better future for their families.
Night College Scholarships
Mathematics and Statistics Department (MSD) faculty member Normalyn Pantino, who has been volunteering for the program since 2000, shared that she joined the program because she believed in the idea of inclusivity in education.
“No one should be left behind. Everybody should be given the same treatment as we have treated regular students in this university,” she said, adding that opportunities should be equally available to those who are not as financially capable.
She said that Night College scholars reward their efforts with hard work and diligence.
Social Science Department professor Dr. Jose Alejandro Tenorio, the son of one of the proponents of the program, said that he joined the Night College faculty members because he believed in his father’s goal of assisting people in getting their four-year college degree, especially those who are suffering from different circumstances in life.
Teaching in the Night College is not paid by the university. Yet, faculty members have generously donated their time to the program to provide the same quality of education that they provide regular students.
Tenorio said that even though it was a free service, this does not lessen the teachers' commitment to preparing the students for their future.
“Considering they (scholar) have certain difficulties, we are here to assist them. That is our role,” he said.
Night College Coordinator Epitacio Mendiola said that they reap their rewards from the program when they see their students graduate or when they express gratitude for their service.
“It is helpful for the kids because it is their dream to have an education – to graduate from college,” he said. "Most scholars have confided that it was a bonus that they received their education from La Salle."
“They are thankful that the university has this kind of program,” he said.
As for himself, he pledged to continue teaching at the Night College as his way of giving back to the Lord for his blessings.
“I have been blessed with a lot of things and this is my way of giving back and thanking God.”