Orientation Day is here! This is the most awaited event we have at Bliss. This is the time we meet our new scholars, mix them with our current scholars and also have graduate scholars as our guests. This orientation is the most number of attendees we had since we started our scholarship. To get all 46 people at our venue (aka my mom’s garden) in Bayoyong, Basista Pangasinan, we not only used a car and a van to pick them up, we even hired a jeep driver to pick up at least 20 of them.
Having everyone together was so much fun. Just the ride alone was exhilarating especially because it has been more than two years since we were able to meet up like this. When all of us finally made it to our venue, we had snacks first before we started the program.
Orientation is the time when we welcome our new students and give them their Bliss T-shirts. We tell them the story about Bliss’ history and the partners we now work with, the benefits they will receive and the expectations we have. We also always have a part where our visiting graduate scholars come and speak about their experience and life lessons they have learned as they transitioned as a student and into the workforce. After these, we have everyone introduce themselves and show off their talents.
We learned over time that holding orientations like this and meeting with our scholars twice every semester to give their grants and also facilitate team building activities help them build lasting friendships. We love seeing our scholars hang out with their fellow scholars on their own accord outside of Bliss events.
After everyone introduced themselves, it was lunch time! Our food were prepared by Bryan’s wife and they were absolutely delicious as always!
Normally, we would have team building activities after lunch. However, we were overwhelmed by the number of students that we weren’t prepared to facilitate activities with them. We were just really happy that the restrictions for Covid-19 has loosened enough that this is such a great experience for all of us.
We gave the current scholar’s their final grant for this semester and gave the new scholars their cash incentives based on their last semester’s GPA. The new scholar’s grants will start and will be given at the beginning of the 2022 to 2023 academic year.
Lots of group pictures were taken. Oh how fun it all was! We said our goodbyes and gave them rides to their respective hometowns.
For every student present in this big crowd we have, it corresponds to a family who’s trajectory of their current lives have been changed. Change for the better. And, a change for more generations to come. Years ago, this was just a dream. A dream shared by four friends while snacking on boiled quail eggs and peanuts. It’s heart warming to see how far Bliss has come and it excites us to find out what our future holds. What we’re going to do now is what we do best, we will keep dreaming and pursue to make them a reality.
Thank you to our partners, Human Resource Institute (HRI) Japan, She is the Universe (SITU), TANG App and individual donors for their continued trust and support for Bliss. We wouldn’t grow and continue to help these deserving students without you.