Zonta Club of Makati and Environs


Meet the scholars of EWSP Batch 2019

August 11, 2018

In partnership with Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 163 Female Engineer scholars have graduated and all hired by Local and International Corporations

Since 2009, we at Zonta have been providing aid to young women who wish to enter in the fields of Engineering and Sciences through the Empowering Women Scholarship Program (EWSP). The very essence of ESWP’s existence involves uplifting women who are constantly confronted with financial and social trials, by providing them with the tools necessary in enabling their personal and societal growth. Marginalized but with a gritty view towards life, our persevering scholars have made their stories their own. Learn more about our current batch of ESWP scholars below.

Mary Aslor

Meet Mary Aslor. This architecture student from España, Manila owns a sari-sari store which serves as their family’s primary source of income. Aside from their store, she is also backed up by her older sister who works as a sales clerk. At 20 years old, she already dreams of creating an eco-friendly Philippines through a bamboo innovation that can act as an alternative energy source.

Clarice Bernardo

Clarice Bernardo shares a similar fate. Born and raised in Pandi, Bulacan, this 20-year-old Civil Engineering student suffers financially as their family depends heavily on her father’s earnings as a taxi driver. Her mother, although a college graduate, constantly fell ill, thus Clarice struggled to find a job. With this, she relies on her OFW aunt to provide for her school necessities.

Tricia Buted

Perhaps among all the scholars in this technical field, one of the most unique is Tricia Buted. Aside from currently taking up Computer Engineering, she  is an award-winning essay writer at the same time, having been crowned 2nd runner-up at her university. However, what she has in common with her fellow scholars is their difficulty to make ends meet. To meet their daily needs, her father breeds dogs and sells them off online. While her father is away, her mother tends to her younger siblings in their humble abode in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Gecelyn Calupig

Much like Clarice’s dad who works as a taxi driver, Gecelyn Calupig’s father earns as a tricycle driver while her mother labors as a vendor. This 20-year-old Mechanical Engineering student lives with her family of four in a rental home in Makati that costs ₱4000 monthly. Her parents bring home a measly amount of ₱14,000 combined earnings which is allotted for her and her sibling’s studies, among their many other expenses. With this, Gecelyn makes the most out of her school as she actively engages in extracurricular activities such as the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Carla Namuco

The most dynamic story could conceivably be associated to 20-year- old Civil Engineering student Carla Namuco. Originally from Batangas, she moved to Pasig City where her chain of achievements began. In high school, one would think receiving 1st honorable mention was already a huge undertaking, but Carla goes even beyond as she takes on the role of sports director, junior council officer, communication committee member, and even badminton varsity player. Although home to a sizeable family of seven, everyone except for Carla lives with her widowed grandmother in the province. On top of that, her father lives farther away as required by his job as a seaman. At the same time, her mother works as a tutor earning a stable yet meager amount of ₱10,000 monthly.

Trixie Del Rosario

Trixie Del Rosario has had it rough in life growing up in a community of informal settlers with her family of six. Their house – located by a heavily polluted creek in Kamuning, Quezon City – comprises of wood, hollow blocks, and a recycled tarpaulin for a roof. Both of her parents are currently working: her mother serves as a cook catering to various events, while her father works for the government. Fortunately, these hardships were translated into motivation that shaped Trixie to become an exemplary student. Growing up, this 20-year-old Mechanical Engineer student, driven with excellence in mind, accumulated a manifold of awards ranging from Leadership Awardee to Researcher of the Year. She currently maintains a good academic standing while at the same time taking on the responsibility of Council President.

Shaira Florante

Born and raised in Quezon City, Shaira Florante lives in a three bedroom apartment with her parents. Income- wise, aside from her father’s salary as a construction worker and her mother’s as a government employee, their family also rents out a room in their apartment to serve as extra income. Aware of her family’s struggles, this 20-year- old Electronics and Communications Engineering student hammered away and established herself as an authority figure and role model in school. To no surprise, she was then honored with the Leadership Award.

Arriane Dueñas

Meet Mary Aslor. This architecture student from España, Manila owns a sari-sari store which serves as their family’s primary source of income. Aside from their store, she is also backed up by her older sister who works as a sales clerk. At 20 years old, she already dreams of creating an eco-friendly Philippines through a bamboo innovation that can act as an alternative energy source.

Trisha Dagohoy

Unsurprisingly, one of our scholars is a holistic achiever by the name of Trisha Dagohoy, excelling in both academics and sports. This 19-year-old Electronics and Communications  Engineering student from Mandaluyong, Manila not only survived high school, but also graduated with flying colors having been conferred as 1st honorable mention. On top of this, she was also awarded as best in electronics and athlete of the year. Home is a household of five, where she receives financial support from her father who serves as a government employee and her mother who works as a cashier. Their family resides in a five-story suburban home joined by neighboring informal settlers.

Frances Gallego

Usually, societal norms would determine career paths based on stereotypical gender roles. Society surely wouldn’t have expected year-old Frances Gallego to take up Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering if they found out that she used to participate in beauty pageants and was a member of a dance troupe. Apart from spending her time on breaking gender stereotypes, she also part-times as a grade school tutor to contribute to her family’s finances. She earns a fixed rate of ₱500 for six hours while her father receives a regular wage of ₱8000 as a government employee. Meanwhile, her mother tends to their household’s family of five.

Charlotte Mahinay

19-year-old Charlotte Mahinay brings with her not only the complexity of planning, designing, and operating infrastructure as a Civil Engineering student, but also shows the tenacity of an athlete as she enjoys the fast sport of table As the only dependent left in a household of six, she is supported by her father who is both an on-call carpenter and a fish vendor earning an average of ₱4000 monthly while her mother stayed at home to tend to all her children in their home in Tondo, Manila. Currently, all three of her siblings have started their own families.

Mary Dela Cruz

Mary Dela Cruz is a 20-year-old Civil Engineering student whose roots trace back to Binangonan, Rizal but resides in Mandaluyong City at present. Her family of four draws their income both from her father’s pay as a family driver and her mother’s profits as an ice candy vendor. Since her formative years, she has already excelled academically having attained 1st honorable mention. She sustained this feat further as she went on to receive the Leadership Award and Academic Award.


12 adverse stories. 12 admirable young women. One unifying idea: to advance women’s status in society through empowerment. A decade after its establishment, EWSP has actualized
and sustained its raison d’etre leaving an endless potential for positive impact led by women in society. With this, let us await what positive impact EWSP has in store for our 12 scholars by the end of 2019.

Education Program Award District Goals

EWSP of Zonta Makati and Environs Foundation is a scholarship program for very marginalized but bright young women enrolled in male-dominated courses like Engineering and the Sciences. These scholars are in the Top Ten % of their class in terms of academic standing and come from families with Indigency Certificates from their communities. Their family average support earning is about of $200 a month. The program started in 2009 and has grown in stature and number through the years. As of the end of school year 2018-2019, we have had 163 graduates.

EWSP includes not only financial assistance from Zonta but also mentoring and workshop activities/seminars outside the academic field but relevant to character development. EWSP graduates are all 1st takers in the board exam, well employed, helping their siblings to pursue education, and are on their way to making a name for themselves here and abroad.

An example is Michelle Anne Tabirao, 2014 Computer Engineering graduate, mentored by a Zontian. Michelle lived in the remote island of Catanduanes all her life until she enrolled in a Manila university (PUP) and was given an EWSP grant. After graduation she worked at a start-up company designing software. She initiated workshop events inviting students from UP and government workers to undertake customized software technology. The events in both Luzon and Visayas sites were so successful that attendees numbered in the thousands. After 2 years, she applied for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masteral Degree Scholarship (EMJMD) in Digital Communication given by the European Union. Her accomplishments stood out and she was among those chosen from hundreds of applicants. She is now working in Africa, employed by an International German company.Michelle has spread her wings and is flying to great heights, always grateful to Zonta for the scholarship and mentoring. Michelle is just one story among many other EWSP women scholars with changed lives. Now they are fully equipped getting out of poverty toward success, bringing additional benefits to their respective families, to the country and humanity as a whole.

This is truly an empowering women program undertaken by caring Zontians.