Christine Joy Reloza, scholar

Education is king: 4th scholar in HARI Foundation program graduates

The Hyundai New Thinkers Circuit (HNTC) of the HARI Foundation Inc (HFI) now counts four scholars who have successfully made it through their chosen science courses—two from University of the Philippines-Diliman, one from UP-Los Baños, and one from Ateneo de Manila University.

The latest addition has been Christine Joy Reloza, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in BS Applied Physics Major in Instrumentation from UP-Diliman.

HNTC, launched in 2014 as a flagship program of HFI and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), was designed to discover and train deserving public high school students to be leaders and innovators to combat climate change.

Reloza, then a senior at Mariveles National High School, bagged an HNTC scholarship with her team’s project of extracting biodegradable plastic from tamarind seeds.

The program consisted of conferences, boot camps, and exploration activities in the country’s famed nature spots that aimed to elicit from the participants’ innovative projects that would help solve the climate change concerns of their specific communities. The activities culminated with the awarding of college scholarships to the best-performing candidates to the country’s leading universities.

“I will forever be deeply indebted to HARI for providing a space where I can nurture my talents and wisdom, and mold my career by financially supporting my college education. As a member of the science community, being a part of your program will always make me proud. Hyundai’s dedication to not just promote science education but to support brilliant young minds in pursuing careers related to science is truly remarkable. With this, I congratulate HFI for successfully producing graduates from top-performing schools over the years,” said Reloza.

“It has been a particularly productive year for HFI,” observed HFI President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. “We have been actively supporting nationwide efforts to flatten the curve through our Biyahe ng Bayani CoViD response campaign. Despite the challenges, we continue our other efforts in the field of education and health, and now, the seeds that we planted years ago are beginning to bear fruit.

“It is heartening to hear from young people like Christine and her fellow HNTC scholars that they are bent on contributing to the future of our nation in the much-needed field of the sciences,” Agudo enthused.

As she prepares to pursue a career in Data Sciences, Reloza expresses a firm desire to put into practice the most valuable lesson drawn from her HNTC experience, which is to be of service to the Filipino people.

Last June, another HNTC scholar, Bret Michaels de Leon, a graduate of Valenzuela City Science High School, also crossed the “finish line” with a Cum Laude degree in BS Environmental Science from the Ateneo de Manila University. He is scheduled to march at the university commencement exercises later this year.