Thursday, 8 December 2011

Ex-president: Alumni group a working entity

This is the present office of “The Waves”, the campus newspaper, which received a facelift courtesy of Batch 73. – MWBuzzpic by AP Hernandez

THE former president of the JPNHS Alumni Association recently said the group has remained an entity working for the welfare of its members and Alma Mater and not just a “camaraderie group”.

Engr Matt Espana (Batch 70) was reacting to a recent email circulated by Samuel Tatom, secretary of LaPIMa, to some of his batch mate.

In this email, Tatom (Batch 66) expressed dismay over the current stagnant status of the alumni association.

Espana, who is based in California, was president for three terms from 2001-2007. 

Metro-Manila based Tatom said “the LaPIMa and JPNHS Alumni Association are just more of a camaraderie group … only active when there is reunion coming …”

Now retired, Tatom made the comment after he failed to draw the cooperation of some members to help in some projects being planned for the school in time for next year’s general alumni homecoming. 

Espana said that the alumni group was founded with a mission to “promote the interest of its members, its Alma Mater and the community as well … which it did the past 14 years.”

He said: Organizing a reunion and homecoming are just a facet of one of the functions but definitely it is not the be-all and have-all of it.”

The JPNHSAA was first organized in 1997.

Espana said that from the time it created, the association launched a number of projects that benefited both the members and the school.

For instance, from 1997 to 2007, it carried out rehabilitation of a number of the school facilities and sponsored a scholarship program for an underprivileged Batch 99 member.

Espana said that during his time as president, they launched a micro lending program (K3,000 low-interest loan) to help the less-privileged members put up livelihood projects.

They also underwrote the annual financial requirements of the school’s Student Welfare Assistance Program and created a bereavement assistance program for qualified members with a K2,000 cash assistance to the deceased batch member.

Espana said that Batch 1973 constructed the office of The Waves and provided it with air-con, while Batch 1955 constructed a mini-mess hall/multi-purpose recreation room.
The Waves is the school newspaper.

In 1997, a group of 10 batch members chipped into refurbish the front of the school’s perimeter fence.

In 1999, the school’s overhead water tank was repaired.

“There were other programs,” Espana said, “and all these are further proofs that our association exists for a noble purpose.”

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