IN THE TAYO Awards lexicon, A is for accomplished. But this year, it had another meaning--amazing.
The recently concluded Search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO14) exceeded the expectations of the organizers led by the TAYO Foundation and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines with the National Youth Commission and the offices of Senators Bam Aquino and Kiko Pangilinan. The turnout was surprising and overwhelming beginning with 400 entries from all over the country.
The 400 completed projects submitted to this year's search represent the commitment of many young Filipinos to contribute to meaningful change in their groups and communities. Contrary to what many from the older generations claim, these 400 are living proofs that the youth of today did not succumb to apathy and debilitating individualism. The impressive number of entries for TAYO14 affirms the faith of our heroes on the youth.
All 400 entries to TAYO14 manifest our young people's capacity for active citizenship, social action and community involvement. These young people answered the call of leadership and service. As Martin Luther King once said, they rose "above the narrow confines of their individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity". According to the great civil rights leader, this is the only time a person "has started living".
Because of this they are truly amazing.
Equally amazing are their accomplishments.
The annual search for TAYO is founded on the belief that the Filipino youth are willing to work for and are capable of bringing about people's empowerment, community development and nation-building. This unwavering faith is reinforced strongly by this batch of TAYO finalists and winners.
Their stories tell of how they appreciate the youth's role in their communities and the society.
Young people are often appreciated and made to believe that their place is in the future as the generation in the waiting list or as the After Image hit song puts it the "ones who are next in line". The hope that society often pins on them is expected to be realized not in the immediate but in some distant time many years from now. The TAYO awards is about recognizing the now, the current efforts of young people, what they accomplished today.
The recent crop of TAYO finalists proved convincingly that young people are capable of finding solutions to the problems and concerns of their communities. They delivered change where it is needed. They bridged gaps to make life better for others. And they developed new ways of doing things.
They have effectively utilized the creativity, idealism, passion and even the stubbornness that comes with being young.
The admirable youth organizations of TAYO14 bravely took on issues that are usually regarded as out of their league, beyond their age. In doing so, they inspire their peers to take on and commit to a cause. They challenge their elders to be as bold, passionate and creative in solving social problems.
In working for meaningful change, the young people of TAYO14 inspire, challenge and encourage everyone to live a more meaningful life, to be accomplished and amazing.
(More on TAYO14 in next week's column)