By: Lance Gamboa
Last September 5, 2015, twelve of the Ateneo Center for Educational Development’s (ACED) high school scholars and fourteen Gabayanos attended the orientation for Ateneo Gabay’s newest Erya—the High School Buddies program.
A partnership between Gabay and ACED, the HS Buddies Program is a mentoring scheme in which twenty junior and senior Gabayanos will serve as ates or kuyas to ACED’s scholars and guide them in their academic, spiritual, emotional, and social formation.
Held in the ACED Training Room (Hoffner Building, 3rd floor), the orientation began with a prayer by Jesha Gregorio (4 BS HSc) and continued with Lance Gamboa (2 BS PSY) introducing the HS Buddies Program and its purpose to the participants. Mrs. Carmela Oracion, the managing director of ACED, then took the stage to give her office’s scholars an inspirational talk. She spoke of how, despite life’s inherent unfairness, education and hard work can even the playing field and provide everyone—whether financially privileged or not—an equal opportunity for success.
Afterwards, the high school scholars and their buddies got a chance to get acquainted with each other through a group activity called the Blanket Game, in which they had to remember and subsequently guess each other’s names. This was immediately followed by a speech from Jayson Estores (3 BS AMF), who shared his experiences as a former high school scholar and emphasized the value of companionship in overcoming the challenges one has to face.
A speed dating activity then allowed the two groups to know more about each other as they answered several questions about themselves. After the cheery interrogations, Academics Committee Head Aldrin Domer (4 BS EcE) inspired the high school scholars with a talk about the wonderful doors his scholarship opened for him and the obstacles and pressures he had to conquer in order to reach these.
Finally, the orientation ended with the high school scholars bonding and chatting one-on-one with their respective ates and kuyas while sharing a meal of sandwich and bottled iced tea.
The High School Buddies Program is a project under the Education Operations Committee and the Office of the Externals Vice President.
Organizers: Alexis Andaya, Lance Gamboa, Jesha Gregorio