Now on its 55th year, the TOSP Awards, a program sponsored by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), aims to promote academic excellence of the youth and their servant leadership through community involvement.
This year, seven highly-achieved students have been selected from across the Bicol region to join the TOSP Batch of 2016. But out of these seven finalists, only three were chosen as TOSP awardees and will represent the Bicol region on the nationwide TOSP search.
Claiming the esteemed achievement as Bicol’s TOSP Awardees are Jay Chester delos Santos Usero of Catanduanes State University, Ron Ephraim Banda Roluna of Ateneo de Naga University, and Andrew Ollet Refareal of Bicol University’s Polangui Campus.
Usero, a Cum Laude English Major, is a Dean’s Lister of his school and an advocate of humanitarian aid programs in Catanduanes. Roluna, a BS Biology student, is an advocate of HIV awareness for the youth, and a Youth Advisory Panel of the United Nations’ Population Fund. Refareal, an English Major Magna Cum Laude and a two-term editor-in-chief of their school publication, is the first TOSP awardee from a university’s external campus.
These three awardees will represent Bicol in the TOSP national search, but all seven finalists have been incorporated in the TOSP Alumni as Batch 2016 with the batch name “Bungkaras” (‘Rise-Up’ in Bicolano).
Joining the awardees in TOSP Batch 2016 are their fellow finalists; Mary Joy Lumbria Alcobera of the University of Nueva Caceres, Bryan Albaniel Cariaga of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (Pili Campus), Francis Parañal Orasa of the University of Nueva Caceres, and Kristuffer Darcyth Tan Pring of the Bicol University.
The candidates for the award underwent a strict selection process by a Regional Screening Committee, with members from the academe, business, science and humanities field. The selection was overseen by a Regional Executive Committee (REXECOM), composed of representatives from CHED and other government and private sectors.
“These kids have done so well,” said Dr. George Colorado, Regional Director of CHED 5 and Chairman of the REXECOM. On his message to the awardees, he also stated: “Let us all inspire each other as we learn, lead and serve for life, for the love of God, of our fellow Filipinos, and of our country, the Philippines.” (MAL/JBE-PIA5)