Cebuana senior high student offered P55 million worth of scholarships from 9 US universities

Balaba received admission offers from nine US schools after working hard on her college applications and a combined PHP 55 million worth of scholarship packages.

Simone Gabrielle Balaba, an 18-year-old senior high school girl from Cebu, has accomplished an astounding feat in her academic career. Despite the fact that prospects for kids like her are limited, she has received scholarships worth more than PHP 55 million ($1.1 million) from nine prominent colleges and universities in the United States.

Balaba attends the Science and Technology Education Center (STEC) High School, a tiny public school in Lapu-Lapu City for extremely intelligent students. She is a HUMSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) student, not a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) student. She was, nevertheless, determined about making her ambition of studying abroad a reality.

Balaba received admission offers from nine US schools after working hard on her college applications: Augustana College, DePaul University, Fisher College, Hawaii Pacific University, Hollins University, Knox College, University of La Verne, Whitworth University, and Xavier University. These colleges also awarded her a combined scholarship package totaling $995,920.00 (Php55,134,131.20). The hefty sponsorship packages will cover tuition and certain other costs associated with studying in the United States.

In a social media post, Balaba expressed her gratitude for the opportunity, thanking her family, friends, and professors who believed in her and encouraged her to pursue her US college applications. She is currently prepared to embark on her next journey in the United States and is looking for help from kind-hearted people.

Her dream of studying abroad grew stronger as her sister shared how great it was and the many opportunities it presented. Balaba’s parents encouraged her to try but warned that nothing was certain and education was expensive, especially in the US.

Despite these challenges, Simone persevered through the overwhelming and difficult application process. Deadlines were fast approaching and with the realities of her family’s financial state and her academic qualifications, she began to lose hope but her persistence paid off after learning her hard work resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“As I prepare for this exciting next chapter in my education, I am also keenly aware of the financial realities that come with attending college. While I am fortunate to have received generous scholarships and financial aid packages (more than PHP 52 Million), there are still other expenses such as textbooks, room and board, and transportation that will require additional support,” she said.

Balaba expressed her gratitude for the hard work and support of many people in her life, including her family, teachers, and guidance counselor. Her success is a testament to her determination, hard work, perseverance, and support from others. Her achievement also highlights the importance of providing opportunities for students from all backgrounds to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential.

Her story serves as an inspiration to other students who may be facing similar challenges and limitations. She is actively seeking sponsors and benefactors so she can fully engage in her college experience and pursue her academic goals with focus and determination.

Negros Island’s Enzo Miguel Kho, who picked Princeton University, Capiz farmer’s son Aldrean Alogon, who chose Wesleyan University, and Isabela farmer’s son Benjamin Baui, who chose Xavier University, are among the Filipino kids who overcome personal challenges and received many US scholarship offers like Balaba.

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