Written by Joyce Leila Cura, and Louie Antoine Constantino
Ateneo Gabay members took part in the first-ever Scholar’s Gratitude Project (SGP) in the 10th Ateneo Scholar’s Week: Extend at MVP Roofdeck October 21 to 25, 2019 as a way to show gratitude for the scholarship they received and for their personal blessings.
With the prompt “As a scholar, who or what are you grateful for?”, Gabayanos found time to write their sentiments onto pieces of Post-It notes and stick them onto paper cranes hanging from a tree.
On the opening day of Extend, the tree was not set up immediately as members of the production team faced internal issues. The project was supposed to be placed at both the SEC-A Foyer and the MVP Roofdeck. Upon the withdrawal of the former venue, the tree was immediately set-up on the second day of Extend at the latter venue.
According to Keziah Maru Pasion, the Project Head, the original idea was that “the project would be a freedom board where participants stuck the post-it notes or [shoot them in] a dropbox.” The concept was brought to a further creative extent as the team working on the project decided to create the tree and hang the paper cranes from its branches.
Pasion also said that the primary intention of the Scholar’s Gratitude Project was to give back in a way that is different from the private gratitude letters which Atenean scholars are used to.
For Larisse Pelayo, a Management Engineering freshman, the “project was a successful avenue for Atenean scholars to creatively express their gratitude towards the people who made their scholarships [from their benefactors] possible.” More than that, Pelayo notes that the event was specifically beneficial for freshman scholars like her who are still adjusting to the system and are seeking concrete ways to express their gratitude.
Meanwhile, Jan Margaret Cheng who is also a Management Engineering freshman, notes how the project “is a really great initiative by Gabay, [as] even with everybody’s busy schedules, it inspired people to actually stop and take a breather to reflect on everything that they have to be thankful for so far.”
Cheng also said that this project must be continued for years to come, as it stands as a great foundational start for creating actual action plans of giving back to the Ateneo and its scholarship benefactors.