In today’s day and age, there are already multiple pathways to success, but education still proves to be one of the best foundations to achieve personal and career goals. Educational institutions bear the responsibility to impart the right knowledge, skills, and attitude to their students to mold them into future-ready graduates and professionals who are competent and responsible members of society.
For almost a decade, STI College has been acknowledging its exceptional alumni who have made noteworthy contributions in their respective industries and communities, bringing honor to the institution through their achievements. The STI Distinguished Alumni Awards serves as a representation of the many STI graduates who are also making a difference. On May 5, 2023, a total of 23 alumni from various STI campuses nationwide were recognized at the Solaire Resort in Pasay City.
During the event, the awardees shared their inspiring stories of how STI College helped shape their journey from aspiring students to successful professionals in various fields of expertise and service in and out of the country.
“STI helped build the foundation of who I am today,” said Michael Favila from STI College Sta. Mesa. “The modules and the lessons that they provided were very detailed and practical. Our professors also pushed us beyond our boundaries because they know we are capable of more.”
One of Favila’s greatest achievements is being able to build and launch two digital banks from scratch—Maya Bank in the Philippines where he is currently the Head of Engineering, and Mox Bank by Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.
“I’m glad that my contributions to the community were recognized by STI through this award. I feel excited and very honored. I’ll always be a proud STIer,” the BS Computer Science graduate said.
Favila’s advice to young tech practitioners? Follow your passion as much as you can and find the industry where you’d like to kickstart your career. “Once that’s done, the next thing you have to do is just go all in.”
Just like him, Divine Tingzon from STI College Fairview is an awardee who is currently making waves in the tech landscape, specifically in Singapore where she is working as a software engineer focused on financial services. During her undergraduate years as a BS Information Technology student, Tingzon worked as a student assistant, an experience that greatly helped in enhancing her interpersonal and communication skills, which are both essential in any industry.
After being nominated for the award for the second time, Tingzon considers this as the perfect time for her to receive it after not making the final cut last year.
“I’m happy to know that my efforts and hard work in my chosen industry is being appreciated by the STI community whom I consider as second family. I’ve been through so much personal loss in the past two years after losing my parents. I’m a bit sad that they won’t be seeing this tonight, but I hope I’m doing them proud,” she said.
Yusop Dimaporo from STI College Cotabato is another awardee who told an inspiring story. As an internally displaced person from Pikit, Cotabato, being a full-time student was more difficult than usual but that did not stop him from pursuing his dreams. Fortunately, he has a strong support system in his family and loved ones that helped him go above and beyond his circumstances.
As an STI student, Dimaporo was a regular participant of Tagisan ng Talino, an academic competition among STI students nationwide, where he joined fruit carving, cake decorating, and cooking contests among others. “I was able to experience many firsts in my life because of STI. We’re not just learning within the four corners of the classroom. It’s always actual exposure to different industries,” the BS Hospitality Management graduate said.
His innate sense of determination combined with the technical skills and right mindset that he learned from STI led to six thriving business ventures that Dimaporo now owns, including the first ever smart cafe in the Philippines located in Cotabato City.
“I’m very thankful that my businesses were able to help many people during the pandemic. Most of my employees are out-of-school youth, single parents, and ex-combatants, and my goal now is to continue supporting their livelihood, especially the children affected by the conflict in our area,” he said.
Aisa Hipolito, STI Education Services Group Vice President for Academics, expressed her utmost pride for the alumni awardees.
“The number of distinguished alumni that we have each year continues to grow. What started with just 5 awardees now has 23, and it’s so humbling to know that STI College has formed a part of their journeys. Our vision really is to be able to develop and nurture students who can contribute to society in a responsible manner. We want to see our graduates give back because that’s how the ripple effect works—one person at a time, one good thing at a time to make an impact,” she said.
The STI Distinguished Alumni Awards is organized by the STI Alumni Association.
For the complete list of the awardees, visit https://www.sti.edu/alumniawards2023.