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Scholarship and Grant Recipients

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“Thank You Remarks”

Distinguished board members of the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation, Dr. Betsy Joy Tan, Dr. Susan Suarez, Rev. Jonathan Pia, The Divinity School, members of Silliman University Faculty and Staff, and fellow Sillimanians Good Morning!

It is an honor to be part of the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation. My relationship with the Foundation began when I was in my senior year at the Divinity School and continues now, when I am in my post-internship. To be honest with you, it is a “miracle” that I have been one of the scholars of this distinguished foundation.

Why a “miracle”? There are two reasons. The first is that the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation accepted me as their scholar even though I was already in my senior year, and they were looking for a junior music student from the Divinity School. For me, it is definitely a miracle because of a willing heart and an answered prayer.

The second reason why I consider it a miracle is because it came just when I needed it. During the first two years of my studies here in Silliman, all the “needs” for my family and for my schooling and even the “wants” were being provided by our family business. I consider it a good two years because God gave us—my wife and kids -- the things that we needed and even the things that we didn’t need. In short, getting a scholarship was never in my wildest dreams. Then one day, our business failed, and my dad (the provider) became very sick with cancer. He died last December. It was indeed a saddening experience in our family. I had to come up with something that would help our finances, especially for my schooling.

My family and I had to change our ways, attitudes, and even the lifestyle that we were used to. We had to accept the fact that our dad the provider was gone and we would have to find solutions for financing my schooling, not depending on my parents anymore. In my senior year I was worried because the scholarship that I had, had already expired. This turned out to be another big challenge for me, for completing my studies. One day, I read about the Fissell Scholarship on our school bulletin board, but as I’ve said earlier it only accepts junior music students of the Divinity School. In my desperation, I applied for it anyway, thinking that if I am accepted, well and good but if not, maybe I will just not finish my senior year and instead wait for the next school year. But God really answers prayer and He listened to my plea.

So, deep in my heart I thank the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation for giving me the opportunity and the chance to graduate from the Divinity School. Without the Foundation my dream of becoming a pastor and a music worker would not turn into reality. Again, thank you and may you continuously become servants of God by helping the less fortunate people to their goals and dreams by becoming one of your scholars.

May God bless us all!
Cesar Chazyan P. Romero
UCCP-MCCD (OBR) Associate Pastor

** Edited Version **
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Before I got the Daniel Fissell Scholarship, I had a special scholarship grant for pastors' kids. However, I was not able to submit the requirements for this scholarship on time. I was so concerned especially that it was a great help for my family. Later, the secretary of our college called and informed me that I was chosen to be the recipient of Daniel Fissell Scholarship. We then discussed further details about it.

This full scholarship grant is a blessing. It really aids our concern on finances especially that my father, a church minister, is the only one working in our family. In addition, his monthly income is not enough to cover all our expenses. The only way to help my parents is to do well in my studies so there will be opportunities and scholarships. Now that I am a third year piano major student, my family and I are preparing for my junior recital hopefully next year. It is expected to spend a lot on this event since we are paying for the auditorium. Moreover, my family also has to spend fare just to see me perform. Because of this scholarship, we don't have to think so much on my academic fees and rather save more on my upcoming recital.

Aside from the financial aspect, it also helps me to really manage my time. This scholarship requires me to work 80 volunteer hours every semester unlike the scholarships I had. It is hard at firs but I learn to adjust later.

I am deeply grateful for this blessing. It comes just right to the point when my family needs it the most.

Benz Raquel M. Dugaduga
BM Piano III
Daniel Fissell Scholarship Recipient

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