Lucky Lady

August 14, 2009

I called Leah with the news of our decision.

“Who is the lucky lady, Cheryl,” Leah asked.

Our congratulations to Marethel Guinsayo, a 2007 graduate of San Jose High School, in San Jose, Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur on Mindanao in the Philippines.

Marethel Guinsayao, (left) is the first recipient of the Leah B. Mamhot Scholarship. Also pictured: Cristina M. Alimbe, Grace A. Supang and Lolita Imfiel are the four candidates for our 2009 scholarship. The women reside in Zamboanga del sur province of Mindinao. Photo by Leah B. Mamhot

Marethel Guinsayao, (left) is the first recipient of the Leah B. Mamhot Scholarship. Also pictured: Cristina M. Alimbe, (second from left) Grace A. Supang and Lolita Imfiel (right) are the other finalists for our 2009 scholarship. The women reside in Zamboanga del sur province of Mindinao. Photo by Leah B. Mamhot

Earlier this evening, Isis Initiative board members discussed our four scholarship candidates. We had a tough decision, weighing each young woman’s financial needs, GPA and family situation. It was close between two candidates. We wished we could offer all four a scholarship.

Our local Filipino committee had offered a recommendation. In the end, the input from the three women who had met and interviewed the candidates–and who understand the local culture–swayed us. The local committee recommended Marethel.

I spoke with Leah and she assured me that Marethel is a excellent choice and would be a serious student who would value the gift and the opportunity of a college education.

I trust Leah’s judgment. The board members trust Leah’s judgment.

Ultimately, it’s a leap of faith. For all of us.