July 19th, 2011
From Grace Gervacio, Human Resources and Contributions Director, Johnson & Johnson Philippines
In my role as Contributions Director for J&J Philippines, I have found that the sense of personal fulfillment seems to know no bounds. But among all the meaningful engagements I have been privileged to experience, I have found no greater fulfillment than from seeing Aizel, Febe and Melanie, three students at a high school in our community in Paranaque, embark on a landmark journey towards a health care career.
These three young ladies are the first scholars of J&J Philippines’ Bridge to Employment (BTE) program. BTE, a Johnson & Johnson program launched in 1992, provides mentoring to high school students to help prepare them for college and, ultimately, for future careers in the health care industry. J&J Philippines was tapped to be the first site in Asia to launch this program. In recognition of the socio-economic conditions in the country, a scholarship component was added to the local program. Chosen among 20 students who went through the full set of activities such as internships and mentoring by J&J health care professionals, these youngsters will be going through a 2-year midwifery course before returning to Paranaque to serve the community as members of the City Health Office. With the “ladderized” curriculum, they have the option to eventually pursue a Nursing and even a doctor of Medicine degree.
When we announced the chosen scholars, we requested Aizel, Febe and Melanie to say a few words. As they spoke of their dreams and gratitude for the opportunity given them, hardly a set of eyes in the room remained dry, mine included. It is my fervent hope that I will see these young girls become doctors someday, and if so, both their dreams and ours would have come true.
This feature article tells more about their story.