UE Student-‘Street Teacher’ is First Ever The One Philippines Humanitarian Award Grand Champion!

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Described as an unsung hero “akin to Mother Teresa,” UE College of Education student and acclaimed “street teacher” Dara Mae H. Tuazon recently became the first ever Grand Champion of The One Philippines (TOP) Humanitarian Award. The awarding was held last May 2, 2018, at the Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

Ms. Tuazon first made waves through social media after a photo of her teaching street children along Gastambide Street near UE Manila went viral, with some calling her “the angel of Gastambide.” It led to her and her advocacy, of sharing her knowledge and imparting wisdom to the less fortunate, landing in mainstream media outlets, including on television.

In May 2017, Ms. Tuazon and some UE student-volunteers, with the help of the UE Office of Extension and Community Outreach (OECO), organized “Bangketa UEskwela.” The program provided a classroom-like setting to Ms. Tuazon’s Gastambide-based students as she and her fellow UE students taught the children during the summer months, all in cooperation with the UE College of Education (CEduc), the UE Office of Extension and Community Outreach (OECO), the UE College of Dentistry (CDent) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

Ms. Tuazon, an incoming fourth-year Bachelor of Elementary Education student at the UE College of Education, is the daughter and eldest child of UE Manila junior high school teacher Mrs. Amparo H. Tuazon.

Launched in July 2017 by Hong Kong businessman Dr. David Harilela, in cooperation with Rotary International District 3450, with a board of trustees led by Chairman Rafael Garcia III, The One Philippines aims to recognize and support unsung heroes who embody the Rotary motto of “service above self.”

Dara Mae was nominated by the Rotary Club of Loyola Heights, Quezon City, which had been awarded as Most Outstanding Rotary Club and whose President, Mr. Ramon Mendoza, won as Most Outstanding Rotary Club President on April 27, 2018.

Dara Mae and the two other finalists underwent a yearlong judging process, with the final screening led by Senator Grace Poe as represented by Philippine Senate Chief for Political Affairs Gary Jimenez, and included heads of top companies and the president of an educational institution. Out of hundreds of nominees, three finalists were selected. Dara Mae’s co-finalists, and the TOP runners-up, are Dr. Roel Cagape who, through his Tulong Ko sa Pasyenteng Pilipino program, provides free medical care to around 40 indigent patients daily in General Santos and Saranggani in Mindanao; and Mr. Chad Stamatelaky, co-founder of Kids Hope Ministry, which provides free art lessons to out-of-school youth.

As the first-ever TOP winner, Dara Mae received a trophy and 1.5 million pesos. According to an interview by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, she will use the cash prize to support scholars, build schools, purchase teaching equipment and donate to outreach programs through Bangketa Eskwela Foundation Inc., of which she is Founder and President. (As Dara’s nominator to the TOP, the Rotary Club of Loyola Heights won P150,000.00.)

Ms. Tuazon also automatically qualifies as a semi-finalist for the 2019 The One International Humanitarian Award, where she could win an additional $100,000 or roughly 5 million pesos to support her causes.

On the side, Dara Mae has also become a product endorser, as can be seen in this medicinal product commercial which, coincidentally, was launched just three days after her TOP victory: https://www.facebook.com/158658981404634/videos/169264313677434/

Congratulations and kudos, Dara Mae H. Tuazon! Keep achieving and inspiring others, Humanitarian Warrior!

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