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Health & Wellness
Bridging Dreams

From Grace Gervacio, Human Resources and Contributions Director, Johnson & Johnson Philippines

In my role as Contributions Director for J&J Philippines, I have found that the sense of personal fulfillment seems to know no bounds.  But among all the meaningful engagements I have been privileged to experience, I have found no greater fulfillment than from seeing Aizel, Febe and Melanie, three students at a high school in our community in Paranaque, embark on a landmark journey towards a health care career.

These three young ladies are the first scholars of J&J Philippines’ Bridge to Employment (BTE) program.  BTE, a Johnson & Johnson program launched in 1992, provides mentoring to high school students to help prepare them for college and, ultimately, for future careers in the health care industry.   J&J Philippines was tapped to be the first site in Asia to launch this program.  In recognition of the socio-economic conditions in the country, a scholarship component was added to the local program.  Chosen among 20 students who went through the full set of activities such as internships and mentoring by J&J health care professionals, these youngsters will be going through a 2-year midwifery course before returning to Paranaque to serve the community as members of the City Health Office.  With the “ladderized” curriculum, they have the option to eventually pursue a Nursing and even a doctor of Medicine degree.

When we announced the chosen scholars, we requested Aizel, Febe and Melanie to say a few words.  As they spoke of their dreams and gratitude for the opportunity given them, hardly a set of eyes in the room remained dry, mine included.  It is my fervent hope that I will see these young girls become doctors someday, and if so, both their dreams and ours would have come true.

This feature article tells more about their story.