Like any high school students, Lisma who was a student at Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa dreamed of pursuing a higher education after high school.
“In today’s era, a high school diploma won’t give you a good job. You need a degree and additional skills,” Lisma says.
At the time Lisma understood so well that her family wouldn’t be able to afford for college tuition, however the young woman was a bright student at Rumah Belajar who was always listed in the top 10 best students list in her class. Furthermore, she was a recipient of Global Sevilla scholarship, held in partnership with YCAB, that allowed her to study at Global Sevilla in her final year.
Being smart of course had its own perks, Lisma apparently was also eligible to apply for a YCAB scholarship that offered recipients college tuition fees. She signed up for the scholarship program where she had to undergo a three-step screening process such as interview, essay and math test.
“Math was the hardest for me and the interview process as well, I was asked about my plan for the next 10 years. For the essay part I had to write down reasons why I deserve the YCAB scholarship,” she recalls.
Her hard work eventually paid off as she was selected as one of the scholarship recipients. Lisma had already planned the major she wanted to take for college which was hospitality, but her interest was more towards cooking than hospitality management. She then did a research on schools that emphasis more on culinary education and found one located in Serpong area called Tristar Institute BSD.
“I’ve always loved cooking, I remember I used to help my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. It just feels great to be able to make your own food,” says Lisma of her passion for cooking.
She is now in her second year at the institute, her favorite subject so far is cooking main course and she excels at street food, “I got perfect scores on street food,” she tells.
However, she has had to deal with some difficulties throughout her study like the long commute to the school and how to overcome cooking fails. In dealing with any kind obstacles Lisma credits her years at Rumah Belajar for shaping her moral character.
“I joined plenty of extracurricular activities back then and I was a member of OSIS (Student Organization), this experience taught me about responsibility, teamwork and self-confidence,” she says.
Once Lisma graduates from Tristar she plans on getting a job at a hotel to gain some experience of working in a professional kitchen and also saving up for her long-term plan that is starting her own business and become an entrepreneur.
Lisma’s story shows how Rumah Belajar and scholarships given by institutions such as Global Sevilla and YCAB help provide education opportunities for underprivileged children that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.
Lisma herself says it best when it comes to the importance of learning centers (PKBM) like Rumah Belajar for young people like her, “It is an opportunity for children who are unable to continue a formal education to go to school and wear a school uniform every day just like everybody else. It also gives a chance for people like me who want to go to college but can’t afford to pay the tuition fees,” she said.
As of now the YCAB scholarship has expanded the program to reach out to more students, currently the children of YCAB Ventures (PMV) partners are also eligible to apply for the scholarship as well. PMV partners are female small-business owners that receive loan from PMV program. One of the requirements to become a partner is their children have to stay in school, they can either go to a regular school or enroll at Rumah Belajar. Those with good grades at school are then considered to be eligible to apply for the YCAB scholarship.