Future Bridging Leaders Program Launch
MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES – On June 3, 2015, the AIM TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership (Center), through the support of TeaM Energy Foundation, formally launched the Future Bridging Leaders Program (FBLP) at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). In attendance were representatives from TeaM Energy Foundation, TeaM Energy Corporation, the Embassy of the United States, the Philippine National Police, the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos, AIM Faculty and friends of the Center.
Out of nearly 100 applicants, twenty-six youth leaders from different areas of the country have been selected to become part of the Pioneer Cohort of the FBLP, a one-year leadership development and mentoring program. The FBLP is an avenue for youth engagement that aims to develop leaders who have the courage, commitment, skills and knowledge to create sustainable change with their communities. The fellowship is premised on the youth’s growing importance in addressing societal issues to co- create change.
Professor Manny De Vera, Executive Director of the Center, kicked off the launch and reaffirmed the Center’s commitment to develop youth leaders. Professor De Vera further elaborated on the crucial role of the youth in the nation’s development and the conscious effort that must be made for the youth’s potential to be realized. Citing the Arab Spring as illustrative of the power of the youth, Professor De Vera narrated how dissatisfied Arabian youth led a wave of protests that significantly impacted the development of different countries in the Arab region. He stressed:
Mr. Toshiro Kume, CFO and Executive Vice- President of TeaM Energy Corporation, current OIC of TeaM Energy Corporation and TeaM Energy Foundation, then gave an inspiring message to the youth Fellows. In true Japanese fashion, he shared a haiku with the young leaders and encouraged them to make real their dreams, but always to be grounded by vision. He emphasized that, “A vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
Ms. Jennifer Foltz, the Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer of the Embassy of the United States, also shared the State Department’s initiatives towards youth development, particularly in the ASEAN region. She extended an invitation to the youth fellows to become part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) to receive possible grants and scholarship opportunities abroad. The Embassy of the United States of America and YSEALI are official partners of the Center in the implementation of the FBLP.
Dr. Steven DeKrey, President of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), gave the response on behalf of the Institute. Dr. DeKrey expressed strong support for the FBLP and, in line with AIM’s thrust to be at the forefront of the ASEAN Integration, the plan to take it beyond the Philippines: “We have high hopes for the Future Bridging Leaders Program; not only do we want a hand in Filipino youth co-creating change in the community, we intend to take this program to a regional level.”
Throughout the 12-month program, the 26 young leaders, with the support of their co-Fellows and AIM mentors, will develop and implement their change projects to address specific divides in their respective communities. Before the ceremony closed, the Future Bridging Leaders took the floor and shared their advocacies of education, enterprise development, human rights, gender equality, environmental stewardship, and access to public services.
On behalf of the Center’s team, Professor De Vera once again thanked everyone for celebrating the start of the youth fellows’ journey to co-create change in their communities and invited them to follow their stories of leadership.
Know more about the Future Bridging Leaders Program and the AIM-TeaM Energy Center for Bridging Leadership through the program’s official Facebook Account ‘Future Bridging Leaders Program’ or through our website at bit.ly/BLforYOUth.