From SM Foundation scholar to SM Prime accounting manager: The Relentless Rizaly

The Relentless Rizaly 

From SM Foundation scholar to SM Prime accounting manager

Twenty years ago, high school student Rizaly Lim and her four brothers were in awe every time they played in their hometown of Sta. Pink lagoon. All five children in a tricycle whose father earns a living were looking forward to a happy family weekend in a large mall.

Currently, Rizaly, who graduated with excellent results on a scholarship from the SM Foundation, has become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is the Accounting Manager at the headquarters of SM Prime Holdings, a leading real estate development company in the Philippines. In Southeast Asia.

From SM Foundation scholar to SM Prime accounting manager

From an early age, Rizaly has made stubborn efforts to save her family from poverty. She said, “It was only my dad who worked for our family. We were a big family, so his daily income as a tricycle rider was never enough.”

Rizaly finished high school at the Balibago National High School as class valedictorian in 2005 and was already sending applications for other college scholarships when her teacher asked the top 10 students to go to SM City Sta. Rosa for an interview with SM Foundation.

Sa umpisa, hindi po ako naniwala kasi bago pa lang sa amin noon ang SM City Sta. Rosa,” she recalls. She proceeded of course, driven by the one goal of finishing college and helping her family. “Gusto ko rin po makapag-aral at makapagtapos noon. Maka-work at makatulong sa family.”

After several exams and interviews, SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) visited her and her family’s home and she studied. I have informed you that you will receive a full scholarship with a monthly allowance until you complete.

In 2010, Rizaly graduated with an excellent bachelor of science degree in accounting. In October 2010, she immediately passed the examination of the Filipino Commission of Certified Accountants. She said her SMFI support exceeded tuition and allowances. She said, “I had the opportunity to work at the SM store during the summer and Christmas holidays, as well as a full scholarship and monthly allowance, and the SMFI scholarship made it possible to financially support my family.”

“I am the master of my fate”

While other parents were buying their college kids the latest Nokia phone back in the summers of 2000’s, Rizaly’s father gave her and her siblings weekly assignments to accomplish during the summer vacation. “Our late father instilled in us the love of reading and the value of studying,” she shared. “During summer, he would assign us English words and their meanings to memorize and asked us to recite these to him.“ 

Then there’s the memorization of motivational poems and speeches, one of which stuck with her for life: “It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” She shared that this last stanza of “Invictus” by W.E. Henley had kept her motivated to look past the limitations of her circumstances and focus on her personal goals.

Career at SM

The SM Foundation was founded in 1983 by Henry Sy, Sr., and Felicidad T. Sy as the heart of the SM Group. We have established a program focused on fostering and nurturing poorly serviced communities where SM is present. Support and strengthen your host community through education, health care, shelter, disaster preparedness, sustainable agriculture, and care for people with special needs.

To date, the SM Foundation has supported more than 8,000 college and technical / professional students and has donated more than 100 school buildings with a total of 334 classrooms nationwide.

The SM Foundation also offers employment opportunities at various companies within the SM Group, so graduate support goes beyond the classroom. The Foundation holds career fairs specifically for scholarship holders. At a career fair hosted by the SM Foundation, Rizaly was able to receive jobs from three companies, including SM Prime Holdings, one of Southeast Asia’s largest comprehensive real estate developers. Malls, houses, offices, hotels, convention centers. It is also the largest property in the Philippines.

I still want to level up

“I haven’t accomplished much yet, but I value what I have already accomplished and received so far,” said Rizaly, referring to the highest honors she has received in high school and college, becoming a CPA, and being promoted to manager in within only a few years of her work at SM Prime.  “These are just a few of the accomplishments for which I will be eternally grateful. I’m also proud of my daily achievements at work, such as fulfilling particular duties assigned to me. They make me happy and proud of myself, and they inspire me to do better.”

 “Ang mga dating pinapangarap ko lang, nagagawa ko na ngayon,” Rizaly said as she related how she has been able to travel to Taiwan for vacation and do the tri-city tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. But her biggest dreams, she said, remain centered on her family: to provide better for her family by sharing with them what she has now. “Nothing is simple. Nothing is easy. Hindi ko naman to straight line lang na na-achieve. Life is full of challenges. Just stay strong, keep the faith and always give your best effort.”

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