Past Initiatives of the Center for the Youth

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The Tuloy Tulay Bridging Leadership Program for the Youth 

In response to the challenge of capacitating the youth to take on a pro-active role in nation-building, the Center has also prototyped initiatives on engaging them and developing their leadership skills, starting with a conflict-affected area such as Mindanao. In 2010, the Tuloy Tulay (Building Bridges) Bridging Leadership Program for the Youth was piloted where participants underwent intensive leadership development for a period of twelve (12) months. It was premised on the youth’s important role in connecting people, resolving divides and the need to develop a new breed of leaders who will have the courage, commitment, and appropriate knowledge and skills to address them.

From this undertaking emerged sixteen (16) promising individuals, renewed and transformed into leaders empowered to co-create for social change and likewise inspire fellow members of the youth to do the same. In the words of one participant:

“Tuloy Tulay has influenced and continuously affects the way I follow, lead, and perceive dynamics within a community and Philippine society itself…. Tuloy Tulay continues to pursue me in my daily life. It has enabled me to excel more in my work to empower communities at the grassroots to bring about quality education in public schools as well as learn more about my emerging future of helping fellow youth-leaders learn about themselves and the process by which they lead.”

THE BRIDGING LEADERSHIP FOR YOUTH WORKSHOP SERIES 

In 2012, the Bridging Leadership for Youth Workshop Series was developed in partnership with Xavier University- Ateneo de Cagayan- a partner academic institution under the Center’s flagship Mindanao Bridging Leaders Program (MBLP). Two (2) three-day offerings were implemented where Bridging Leadership was used for the Change Leadership Program of the university’s student leaders. It introduced the concept of “transformational leadership” as a potent tool for effecting more efficient and sustainable changes in student organizations and aimed to form a mass of emerging leaders who will aspire to effect change in the larger community.

Two (2) months after the first offering of the workshop series was implemented in August 2012, a follow-up evaluation was conducted through Xavier University’s Student Activities and Leadership Development (SACDEV) Office. The evaluation helped assess how skills and concepts learned from the workshop were applied by participants in their organization, the Ateneo School for Upcoming Leaders (ASUL). It was reported that as a result of the workshop, the organization’s annual “Make a Smile” project was redesigned from a dole-out/one-shot kind of initiative to a more sustainable one geared towards strengthening co-ownership with stakeholders. Tools and concepts introduced during the workshop that have also been incorporated in ASUL’s planning and strategic processes include: rapid area assessment (RAA), prototyping and approaching organizational issues using a systems perspective.

Based on evaluation forms and follow-up focused group discussions, the following are statements capturing lessons that participants have learned from the workshop:

“ No one is born a leader. Leadership is a personal choice and a continuing process.”

“Leadership entails working with the margins, that is, bridging the 20% with the 80%. We need to reach out to the ones in the margins to inspire and empower others.”

“Leadership is about changing mindsets.”

“Being a leader doesn’t mean you should always be at the front and center of everything but mobilizing others into action.”

“Vision is nothing without action.”

“To solve organizational problems, you do not treat your constituents as dispensable resource but an integral part of the solution, not necessarily because the problem cannot be solved without them, but because alienating others will breed the greatest rift or divide in any organization – that is indifference. Therefore, a leader must empower and mobilize members – not only will the same address the issue but also lighten the load of every member and the entire org as a whole.”