Shannen’s stepbrother, Jared, plans to be a doctor, and his family supports him all the way, putting money aside for his college education.
But they’re not alone in looking out for Jared’s future. Shannen’s employer, HireSmart, is helping, too, by providing a scholarship that will cover Jared’s ninth-grade school expenses, allowing Shannen and her mom, Cecile, to save for their loved one’s medical degree.
“I’m super grateful,” said Shannen, HireSmart’s virtual employee relations manager. “It’s really a huge help, especially to my mom. When I told her, she was super dramatic and super emotional. We celebrated when we heard the news, just a little gathering here at home.”
Shannen said her younger brother’s intellect was evident early. She tutored him prior to preschool and could see he was special.
“When I was tutoring him, I saw that he can memorize a lot of things so fast, faster than I can,” she said. “And then I realized he is really special. He’s so good in math and English at the same time, which is super rare. I really thought he was special even before he started going to school.”
The proud big sister and her family have celebrated Jared’s achievements in school.
“Last year, he received a reward of being with high honors, which was super great,” she said. “Everyone in the family was there to acknowledge him and the recognition.”
Shannen said she and her mom are working to save money for Jared’s education, but she said saving became much tougher after her father passed away recently.
“Because of that, I had to get funds from the savings that I had for his (Jared’s) education,” she said. “That was impacted. I need to restart and try to save up again for his college. My mom and I work on that together, but it is very expensive, especially going to med school. It’s something we need to prepare for.”
Jared changed schools this year and didn’t qualify for a scholarship, but HireSmart stepped in with assistance.
“I’m super grateful because this will really help me and my mom prepare for my brother’s future,” she said.
Shannen and her brother also look for ways to help others. She said Jared is “very generous to everyone, especially those in need.”
“It’s my tradition where every Christmas I would give back, so I would prepare food for the homeless and then go around and give it to them,” she said. “And then later, I realized my brother loves that, too. He would accompany me. He would usually save up the cash he receives during Christmas. He would give me a portion of that to help as well. And he started helping me since he was in grade two.”
HIRESMART TRULY CARES
HireSmart Virtual Employees has a nonprofit arm, HireSmart Cares, which seeks to better lives in both the Philippines and the U.S. with scholarships such as these. HireSmart truly cares for its employees, offering medical and dental insurance, good wages, a work-from-home lifestyle, a strong support staff, leadership training possibilities for career advancement, and scholarship opportunities.
Airene wants the best for her kids, and HireSmart Virtual Employees shares in that aim.
The company recently awarded Airene a scholarship for her daughter, Francesca Venice, who turns 5 in November.
“I really wanted to enroll her in a good school,” said Airene, a single mother of two, who also has a son, Austin Savior, 3. “She’s just starting, and I really believe she needs a strong foundation, and that’s something I can only find in a reputable school here.”
The scholarship will allow Airene to send her daughter to a private school so she can have a strong start to her educational journey.
The proud mom says her daughter is “very smart, very energetic.”
“She likes painting,” said Airene. “When she was 3, she started drawing using a crayon that she found on my desk. I was working that night, and then she told me, ‘Hey mom, I drew your face.’ I was just really surprised because she was 3, and she got the sense of shades, and she actually drew my face like a circle, and there’s eyes, nose, and mouth.”
Airene works for a property management client in the U.S. as part of their administrative team and has been with HireSmart for a year and a half. She said she loves working from home and being able to take care of her children.
She wants her children to get the best education possible, and she’s eager to support them however she can.
“I have my dreams for her, but as a mom, I’m here just to support whatever she wants to do in the future,” said Airene. “Even though I say I want her to be a lawyer, which is what I really wanted when I was a kid, but whatever she ends up doing when she grows up, I’m just here to support her. I want her to achieve whatever it is she wants.”
The virtual employee said she is grateful to HireSmart and CEO Anne Lackey. She said she’s not familiar with other companies offering such perks for the children of their employees.
“I just really want to say thank you, Anne,” she said. “I’m really grateful to HireSmart, not just for this opportunity but also for introducing me to my client. That alone really helps me a lot in supporting my kids and being able to take care of them while working here from home. This is a bonus. So really thank you so much. I know this will make a huge change in me and my baby’s life.”
HireSmart Virtual Employees has a philanthropic branch, HireSmart Cares, which provides scholarships and educational opportunities for youth both in the Philippines and U.S. HireSmart also provides its virtual employees with health and dental benefits.