Reginald F. Lewis (RFL) was born in Baltimore, Maryland yet the memory of his brilliance, tenacity and generosity is alive and well in a city located half a world away.
The Lewis College of Sorsogon City, Philippines was founded by his widow Loida Nicolas Lewis in his honor, and today it has grown into a thriving educational community with over 2,000 students from preschool to college.
In honor of RFL’s 75th birthday, we met up with a few individuals who were recipients of the school’s RFL Scholarship Program, and are now working in their chosen careers.
Mark Kevin Lustan is thankful to be the first one in his family to finish college. The RFL scholarship gave Lustan the chance to pursue his passion, and lift his family out of poverty. He passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET), and now works as Grade 9 Advisor and Vice Principal for Values Programs in his alma mater.
“What Mr. Reginald Lewis said — “Keep Going, No Matter What” – it was ingrained in my mind, and I realized I could do it,” says Jose Arnel Mallete. Arnel doesn’t let his condition hinder him from living life to the full. The RFL Scholarship empowered him to achieve his dreams, and he now works at WOW SmileRadio 107.3fm station in Sorsogon City, Philippines, and gives support to his two younger siblings who are still in high school.
Ardie Dolot was left in the care of his grandmother when he was a baby, as his own parents were too poor to care for him. His grandma saw his hunger to learn, and worked odd jobs so he could stay in school, until he qualified for the RFL Scholarship. Today, he is Vice Principal in Mathematics for The Lewis College’s High School Department, while also taking care of his grandma.
The RFL Scholarship was an opportunity that changed Charelyn Brondial’s life. She left her small hometown in Camarines Sur to study in The Lewis College, and fulfill her dream to become a teacher. Today, she is now a licensed professional teacher, and has taught English in China for five years. While waiting for her next teaching assignment abroad, she takes care of her baby girl, and gives English tutorials to her Chinese students.
Indeed, like a positive ripple effect, RFL’s inspiring legacy is one that keeps on giving, reaching and uplifting families and communities — not just in his own hometown, but all over the world.
Watch the 5-minute video tribute here: