Integrity - Service - Merit
Vicky has touched the lives of so many people, and however hard we try, words cannot do justice to how much she has impacted the lives of past and present members of the community”, writes Alex Eduque ’09. Vicky’s office has been a sanctuary for many of us: students, parents, colleagues. Her advice and candor has encouraged, motivated and kept most of us on the right path, even when we felt like giving up. She has been a mother figure, a counselor, a teacher, a co-worker, even a match-maker; but more importantly, Vicky has been a friend to each of us. School year 2010-2011 marked Vicky’s final year in her position as High School guidance counselor. The bitter-sweet emotions that many of our students, parents, faculty and alumni feel can be heard in the mountain of messages the school has received in recognition of her service.
Vicky’s relationship with our school began as a Grade 2 student in Ms. Miller’s class on the Donada campus (of the American School as it was then known) in 1957. Graduating in 1968, Vicky went on to study at the University of the Philippines. In 1973, Vicky would return to school but this time as an English Literature teacher. It wasn’t until 1975, after the birth of her twin daughters that Vicky returned from maternity leave to assume her guidance counseling position: a position she has held for the past 38 years.
One alumnus remarked, Vicky has been, “the perfect guidance counselor, friend and mentor. She treated each of us with such personal attention. I am the person I am today in great part due to Vicky’s love and caring attention, her strength and her continued friendship.” The list of dedications we have received all reiterate the same feelings. The IS Manila community has been truly distinguished by having Vicky as part of our faculty.
In commemoration of her service to our community, we have established the Vicky Sycip Herrera Scholarship fund in her honor. Many of you will know of this program, which seeks to fund local national students of exceptional ability but whose parents lack the financial capacity to fund an education at IS Manila. Presently, the school supports four Scholars in each Grade from 8 to 12. Vicky’s Scholar would be the fifth such. These students all pass through an elaborate selection process involving standardized assessment tests, essays and psychological evaluations as well as a comprehensive means test to ascertain the family’s financial circumstances. Since 1967, our Filipino Scholarship Program has changed the lives of over 150 students – and often the lives of their families as well. The list of accomplishments and achievements of these Scholars is remarkable.
And although the Scholars have gained immeasurably from an ISM education, it is worth noting that they have given much back to the School. Listen to Vicky’s own assessment of the value that they have added: “I was aware of the Filipino Scholarship Program when it started way back in 1961; this was when the first batch of Scholars started in what was then called Junior High (Grade 7). They graduated in 1967, and the second batch of scholars was in my class of 1968. Since then, I’ve had the honor of getting to know just about every Filipino Scholar in 44 graduating classes – and oh, how they’ve raised the bar at ISM – not just in the classroom but in extra-curricular activities as well! The Scholars have played a huge role in making our School the success it is today.”
What better way could there be of recognizing Vicky’s unique contribution to IS Manila than to help expand our Scholarship program in her name! We ask each of you to make a pledge to this cause such that we can establish an endowment fund large enough to provide for the continuing tuition and support of an additional, truly deserving Filipino Scholar. Of course we recognize that, in making this appeal, we shall receive donations both small and large. We plan to recognize those who make substantial contributions on a special board of honor located prominently in the school. Please think carefully about this giving opportunity. Not only will your generosity open up a life-changing pathway to an international school education and beyond, it will also help keep Vicky’s legacy alive for future generations of students.
Click here to find out how you can donate to the program or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also like to thank the people who have donated to the Scholarship thus far. We would be happy to discuss details of the program with you.
Stephanie H. Hagedorn
Director of Admissions & Advancement
International School Manila