Two SBPA students receive scholarships from Camacho foundation
When the late Felix Martinez Camacho started out as a carpenter in the 1940s, he had a vision that the sleepy farming village of Tamuning would develop into a hub for commerce.
Decades later, Tamuning transformed into one of the island’s busiest. The Camacho Landmark Center, Personal Finance Center, Guam Premier Outlets, and other business landmarks sprouted in the area as the island rose from the ruins of World War II and eventually drew more than a million tourists a year and enticed investors.
When the Camacho patriarch was a carpenter, just after the war, he saved up his money and used his skills to fix up Quonset huts and former military barracks buildings in Tamuning so he could generate cash by renting them out. And that was part of the beginning of his entrepreneurial ventures, said one of his grandsons, Carlos P. Camacho.
With the business success of the Camachos in finance, real estate development, and other businesses, a foundation was established to help support college students who aim for success via a higher education.
The Felix M. and Governor Carlos G. Camacho Scholarship Foundation sees scholarship awards as a way of investing in Guam’s future business professionals and entrepreneurs, said Carlos P. Camacho, the foundation’s community relations manager.
The Guam business pioneer also is the father of Guam’s first elected governor, Carlos Garcia Camacho, and the grandfather of Felix Perez Camacho, the island’s 12th civilian governor.
“It’s to continue the legacy; that’s why we decided to invest in Guam’s future,” the foundation’s representative said.
The foundation awarded more scholarships on Nov. 29.
The two recipients attend the University of Guam, and both are the first in their respective family to enter college.
Each of the recipients received $1,000 and the foundation committed to providing the same amount per semester until they graduate.
Scholarship recipient Christian Quintanilla is thankful for the financial support, especially because he juggles two jobs in retail and food and beverage industries while working on getting his public administration degree.
“It will help a lot for school,” Quintanilla said, as he’s aiming to graduate next semester, and eyeing a law enforcement job while he explores ways to become an entrepreneur.
Quintanilla is breaking new ground, as he will be the first in his immediate family to earn a college degree.
His family has modest means, and he said he wants to show to his cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives that college is achievable even when funding might be tight.
Scholarship recipient Jean Bactad, a business administration incoming junior, also aims to become an entrepreneur.
Part of her upbringing was helping her parents, who are first-generation immigrants from the Philippines, make ends meet. She helped at their stall at the old flea market in Dededo before it was abolished.
After graduating, her dream ultimately will be to get into a real estate business that will help open avenues for housing affordability.
Besides the financial support, Bactad said the scholarship also boosts morale.
“It inspires me with the thought that people do care about my education,” Bactad said.
The foundation also previously awarded a scholarship to another UOG student, Mia Isabella Nanpei, a senior pursuing a business degree in accounting who continues to receive help from the foundation.