THE Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) welcomed 30 young leaders for its 2021 Leadership and Democracy (Lead) Fellowship.
The Lead Fellowship is a two-year program and the first-of-its-kind in the Philippines that strengthens the capacity of its fellows to become champions of democratic values, participatory governance, and civic engagement.
“The YouthLed Lead Fellowship is a unique opportunity for 30 young Filipino leaders from around the country and from diverse backgrounds to strengthen their capacity to lead, navigate, engage, and optimize platforms for change and for the improvement of governance across all arenas of engagement. With the help of issue experts, partner organizations, and mentors, the 30 Lead fellows will gain access to high quality training and mentoring, grant support for their project ideas and unmatched networking opportunities,” said Sean Callahan, acting mission director of United States Agency for International Development (USAid) in the Philippines, Pacific Islands and Mongolia.
For the inaugural 2021 cohort, 30 Lead fellows were selected from all over the country.
This includes fellows from North Luzon who were identified as John D.R. from Bulacan and Elvin Laceda from Pampanga.
Hernandez, 26, is a teacher from Colegio San Agustin-Makati.
Laceda, 26, is the chief executive officer of RiceUp Farmers Inc.
They are joined by fellows from the National Capital Region, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
From the National Capital Region, the fellows are Captain Ma. Melissa Bo, 27, from the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Riz Comia, 22, Teach for the Philippines fellow; Alexis Glenn Espina, 23, from the Department of Information, Communication, and Technology; Wynona Galvez, 22, from Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership Inc.; Jullia Claire Matienzo, 20, student from the University of the Asia and Pacific; Patricia Matute, 26, executive director of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards; Arianne Bettina Morales, 24, from the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines; and Alexander Miguel Tianco, 21, student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
From South Luzon are Maria Korina Bertulfo from Batangas, John Albert M. Caraan from Laguna, Rod Charlie Delos Reyes from Batangas, Angela Maree Encomienda from Camarines Sur, John Joseph Torralba Ilagan from Cavite, Samuel Madriaga from Laguna, Saje Miguel R. Molato from Albay, and Dexter Yang from Laguna.
Bertulfo, 27, is CEO and founder of Filipina Homebased Moms. Caraan, 24, is a Graduate Research Associate University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Delos Reyes, 28, is managing co-owner of HH San Pascual and Associates Inc. Encomienda, 21, is a student from Ateneo De Manila University.
Ilagan, 22, is an Environment Management specialist from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of GMA, Cavite.
Madriaga, 21, is a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila, while Molato, 24, is CEO and founder of Siklab Pilipinas.
Yang, 24, is engagement founder and executive director of GoodGovPH.
From Visayas, the fellows are John Marlou B. Salido from Aklan, Shaine Solidum from Negros Occidental, Marc Helton Sua from Cebu, and Richelle Verdeprado also from Negros Occidental.
Salido, 24, works at the local government unit of Kalibo; Solidum, 23, is with the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay Villamonte in Bacolod City; Sua, 29, is an educator from Ateneo Science and Art of Learning and Teaching Institute; and Verdeprado, 30, is chairperson, Board of Trustees of Sowing Legacy Movement Inc.
Fellows from Mindanao are Fatimatuzzahra Abdulmajid from Barmm, Nekka Lorelle Dagunan Abueva from Misamis Oriental, Suwaidi Alba Ebrahim from Maguindanao, Ezel Lambatan from Cagayan de Oro City, Fatima Malate from Davao City, Rodolfo Matucan from North Cotabato, Jalilah Hadji Sapiin from Lanao Del Sur, and Queenie Pearl Tomaro from Iligan City.
Abdulmajid, 23, is a member of the faculty of Notre Dame of Jolo College; Abueva, 20, is a student from the University of the Philippines-Visayas; Ebrahim, 20, is also a student from Mindanao State University; Lambatan, 27, is communications officer of the Agricultural Productivity Operations Office of Cagayan de Oro; Malate, 23, is country president of Aiesec Philippines; Matucan, 23, is a student from University of Southern Mindanao; Sapiin, 29, is a peace education coordinator from the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education, Lanao del Sur I; and Tomaro, 25, is an instructor from Mindanao State University-Iligan.
“The Lead Fellowship was developed to support young Filipinos in creating a positive impact in their communities. The Asia Foundation, in partnership with USAid, along with several organizations, institutions, and experts are working together to support and strengthen the capacity of these 30 Lead fellows for civic participation and democratic governance,” said Sam Chittick, country representative of The Asia Foundation in the Philippines.
The 2021 Lead Fellowship aims to support informed, engaged, and empowered YouthLed leaders in their ability to participate in democratic governance through issue-based campaigns and development programs. For two years, the Lead fellows will have access to grant support for their respective advocacies, participate in development training, establish their own agencies as youth leaders, join a network of mentors, and be recognized as a member of the YouthLed network of young leaders in the Philippines.
They will also have access to full scholarships for training programs with prestigious institutions including, Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM)’s Future Bridging Leadership Program, Ateneo School of Governments (ASOG)’s Executive Education Courses, and Ayala Foundation Inc.’s (AFI)’s Servant Leadership Program.
Selected YouthLed Young Leaders will also undergo mentorship activities with Makati Business Club (MBC) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
Over 300 applications were received, and candidates underwent a rigorous and competitive selection process which included the submission of project proposals and a panel interview consisting of youth development experts, mentors, and YouthLed partner organizations. (PR)