HomeAbout UsProjectsGalleryScholarsGiveDonorsLinksContact Us

Regie Marie D. Plana-Alcuaz
Class: BA in Psychology, minor in French Studies 1997, MA in English Language 2005
Scholarship Received:     Ateneo College Scholarship, 100% T/F
Awards Received:     Dean's List (1994), Ateneo Freshman Merit Scholar, French Summer Study Tour Scholarship (1996)
Current Occupation and Company:     Exceptional Needs Teacher, Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland, USA

If it weren't for the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation, I would have been a UP alumna.  My twin sister and I were both accepted by the Ateneo and were both given a 100% tuition and fees scholarship.   Nothing in my life has made such an impact as my stay in the Ateneo.

Spirituality was the first gift of my scholarship.  Being in the Ateneo afforded me not only a Jesuit education, but also so many opportunities that nurtured my soul.  The Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League was a spiritual home that enabled me to share the love of God to others in Escopa through Christ's teachings in the Roman Catholic faith.  To me, Ateneo is the community that continually cultivates my ongoing quest for magis (which you'll see on my license plate).

Simplicity is an unexpected souvenir that I received from the Ateneo.  By the example of instructors such as Fr. Roque Ferriols, SJ, I learned that one's stature had nothing to do with what one had or appeared to be.  Fr. Ferriols was a campus legend, and he looked nothing like how you would assume a person of his intelligence and fame would look like.   

Solidarity with our kababayans who are in less fortunate situations was a by-product of the immersion program I underwent as part of Theology 141.  The three days I spent with an Aeta couple in Zambales was an eye-opener in terms of how the process of retail rarely benefits the producer.  For each banana heart they harvested, they received P4, which in the market sold for 400% more (in 1996).  The Aeta woman was five months pregnant - she did not appear to be - and she and her husband ate only once a day.  Since then, whenever I am in discomfort or irritated, I remember how it was to sleep on bamboo slats outside their one-room hut, freezing since there was only a thin cloth shielding me and my companions from the chilly wind.  And I quit complaining.

Subversion is a tradition of the Ateneo that makes me proud.  Ateneans has been at the forefront of many movements that radically changed our national story. From Pedro Paterno and Jose Rizal to Don Chino Roces who led the "Cory Aquino for President Movement," there is a sense of history that permeates being an Atenean and standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before us.

Service is a major raison d'etre for being an Ateneo alumna.  "To whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48)", and as the Jesuit education stays with one for life, one is also expected to share the fruits of that education, in whatever field one may be. 

In this vein, if the five characteristics above sound familiar to you, you must have been involved with the Jesuits Volunteers Philippines (JVP), as I was.  Immediately after my graduation, I faced the choice of joining McCann-Erickson, an advertising agency which had offered me a position in their Human Resources division or of becoming a JVP.  With the sense of service instilled in me by the Ateneo, this was not a difficult decision to make.  And it was as a JVP that I met my husband, who was studying at Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan), so it was one of the best decisions of my life.

It was with all these gifts from the Ateneo that I chose a career as a teacher of children with special needs.  I finished my Master of Science in Special Education at the Johns Hopkins University in 2008, which was no more demanding than my studies in the Ateneo (undergraduate & graduate).  I am currently involved in the Ateneo Alumni Association of Metropolitan Washington DC (AAAMWDC), and this year will be chairing the silent auction at the dinner-dance for the benefit of the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!