NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S PRINT EDITION.
Holy Name University, the first Catholic university in the province gained another success after one of her fresh graduates landed in a prestigious scholarship program in the United States.
Gelbert Cresencio, son of a farmer and a store keeper, has received a full ride scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts, USA, one of the most prestigious colleges in the world.
It became his goal after his late grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the brain and the functions of the different body organs.
“Gusto ko sanai-integrate ’yung engineering science to create a device na makaka-detect ng early onset ng Alzheimer’s disease,” said Gelbert, adding that the chances of recovery were higher if the disease was detected early.
However, he knew that his family couldn’t afford his dream because his mother worked as a store staff member while his father was a farmer and a tricycle driver.
Nevertheless, after graduating senior high school, he soldiered on by applying for a scholarship at Amherst while working at the same time.
Out of almost 5,000 applicants from all over the world, Gelbert was among the 118 who was granted full scholarship, which amounted to USD85,000 or more than PHP4 million and included free board and lodging.
“First word ko po na na basa is ’yung congratulations po, pero hindi ko na binasa lahat nung letter, tumakbo nalang po ako palabas ng bahay ’tsaka sinabihan ko yung mama ko tapos nag iiyakan kami,” said Gelbert, recalling his reaction when he read the letter.
His mother, meanwhile, said they would continue supporting him even if they would be sad that he would be away from the family for four years.
While the scholarship didn’t require him to return to the Philippines after graduating, Gelbert said he wanted to serve here.
“Hindi po ganun karami ’yung mga neurosurgeons dito. Plano kong bumalik dito,” he said. (with reports from GMA News)