My father often spoke to me of his humble beginnings. As a member of a large family from a fishing village in Bicol, my dad longed to study at the state university, graduate with honors and become successful in the business world.
The good news is that he was able to do so. The better news is that philanthropic organizations like Kabataan Kontra Kahirapan (KKK) are currently helping aspiring college students (especially aspiring U.P. students) to do the same. One of their strategies involves helping young people prepare for the first hurdle in their collegiate journey–the UPCAT.
As an organization, KKK believes in promoting social justice and protecting people’s democratic rights. It lives out these beliefs by engaging in a variety of service-oriented activities, one of which involves helping public high school students make it into the college of their choice. The RISE-UP (Reinforcing Indigent Students’ Entry to the Universities of the People) program is one of the important activities in their repertoire.
One of KKK’s most notable enemies is poverty, and the organization is striving to overcome that enemy by equipping people—particularly the youth—with the necessary attitudes and skills they’ll need to effect social change.
Organizational UPCAT Review Background
The RISE-UP program is KKK’s way of leveling the academic playing field for poor yet deserving students. The organization is keenly aware of the financial and social challenges these students encounter as they attempt to apply for a slot at their chosen university. Thus, the program was designed to support them in this respect, to stimulate thinking and enhance their confidence in a collaborative learning environment.
The project itself consists of volunteer-supported and hosted review classes, a mock exam, a free U.P. Diliman campus tour and other bonding activities. Third year public high school students are eligible for participation. The recipients of the program are encouraged to target state universities as their colleges of choice.
It’s also interesting to note that KKK keeps communication lines open between itself and the students after the review sessions have officially ended. The organization has follow-up measures in line with the program in the form of assistance with college applications, help in adjusting to university life and other things.
The review venues have varied somewhat over the years. The original site was at U.P. Diliman itself. Last 2010 (and in recent years as well), the KKK opted to hold the sessions at Santa Elena High School (SEHS) in Marikina City and in Bulan National High school (BNHS) in Sorsogon, Bicol. Through the years, KKK has built up its credibility as a service-oriented organization. This has led to partnerships with both SEHS and the Sangguniang Kabataan in Barangay Concepcion Dos, Marikina City and with BNHS. Together, these institutions provided logistical support for RISE UP.
Students need to present the following in order to participate:
- Accomplished application form
- Parents or Guardian’s written consent
- Photocopy of School ID
- Photocopy of grades (final grade if possible)
- Financial documents (ITR, affidavit of indigency, etc.)
- Two used books for the KKK book drive project
KKK maintains that participants must come from a poor family and must be studying at a public high school. Besides these, students are encouraged to share a 500-peso counterpart fee for the program. This usually covers reading materials—everything else (food, equipment rentals, venue charges, campus tour, volunteers’ expenses, etc.) is covered by the RISE-UP program.
Review sessions normally cover the main subjects found in the UPCAT:
- Word problems
- General Science
- Reading Comprehension
- Abstract Reasoning and Logic
As a bonus, KKK also includes other educational activities such as:
- Orientation sessions on social issues (environment, poverty, education, etc.)
- Team-building sessions
- Activities related to Global Action Week on Education (Big Read)
- PETA-sponsored theater plays on social awareness
KKK has a selection process in place for all would-be participants. An organization representative is assigned to visit various public schools and collect their application forms. A committee then screens the prospective students and determines the final list of participants.
Interestingly, the organization encourages potential participants to apply online. Applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last 2010, KKK held Metro Manila review classes from April 19-24 and the mock exam last April 27. It also hosted Bicol review sessions last May 24-30, with the corresponding mock exam last June 1.
There’s no schedule for 2011 yet at the time of this article’s writing, so kindly check with the contact persons listed below. KKK estimates that the official schedule for next year’s RISE-UP sessions will be announced sometime January or February 2011.
If you have any questions about the 2011 schedule of RISE-UP or about any other specifics of the program, kindly get in touch with Ms. Claudine Claridad at 0917-8298766 or email@example.com. Alternatively, you may also contact Mr. Richard Candano at 0919-3957858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Claudine Claridad, KKK Chairperson
Mr. Richard Candano, KKK Secretary General