Filipino farmer boy wins $300k (Php15.7 million) scholarship to American university

MANILA, Philippines – Aldrean Paul Elvira Alogon grew up in the farm, playing in the field with his friends at their hometown in Sigma, Capiz in Western Visayas. But this brilliant young man is now on his way to a university in the US after being chosen as one of the eleven recipients of the prestigious Freeman Asian Scholarship at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, US.
Filipino farmer boy wins $300k (Php15.7 million) scholarship to American university

“Something impossible was becoming a little bit more possible,” Alogon said after learning that he won the scholarship worth $300k (Php15.7 million) from the university.

Road to a Bright Future

Raised in the farm, Alogon enjoyed his childhood with his friends as they played in the field, swam in the river, and generally had a great time. At night, he enjoyed studying the stars as these were easy to see from their dark fields in the farm, compared if he lived in the big city.

During school days, he would hang out at his mother’s office; she’s the principal at Sigma Elementary School where Alogon would later graduate as Valedictorian. Sadly, his mother died in 2015 and would not see the fulfillment of his dreams…

Alogon had a brilliant mind. After graduating from elementary, he went to the Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus in Iloilo City located 2 hours away. In the highly selective school, Alogon found his wings to fly higher.

Filipino farmer boy wins $300k (Php15.7 million) scholarship to American university
Photo credit: Inquirer

Instead of staying in the shadows as the farm boy from the rural area, he excelled and competed well with the more advanced kids from the city. His teachers saw potential in him and sent him to represent the school in many competitions on a provincial and regional level.

But the highlight of his high school life was when he represented the Philippines in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics – and he did that twice!

“I can still remember how I leapt, literally, for joy because I was going out of the country virtually for free,” Alogon shared, referring to the first time he represented the country in the international competition held in Bhubaneswar, India in 2016.

They would also join the same competition held in Phuket, Thailand, the following year. They lost in both competitions, but both taught Alogon and his teammates a lot of things.

Filipino farmer boy wins $300k (Php15.7 million) scholarship to American university
Photo credit: Inquirer

“They had trained in observatories with state-of-the-art telescopes. We had only ourselves, our coach, and the internet to help us,” he admitted.

Future in America and the Philippines

Alogon applied for a scholarship at Wesleyan University, saying he’s really got nothing to lose by submitting his application. And he certainly had everything to gain as he won the scholarship and became part of Class of 2023 Freeman Asian Scholar from the Philippines.

With the program designed for the students to become leaders in their respective countries, Alogon might become a big name in the Philippines in the coming years. But for now, this young student is heading to America to make his dreams come true.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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