Summer enrichment for APC youth: Cultivating skills and leadership in the community

Yanyan Yacapin and Joey Murillo

Voices of four youth on their learnings, reflections, and hopes for the community and its people are shared below as they engaged in Hulas, an APC program of the Forest, Farm, and Leadership in the Margins (FFLM) Unit that provides skills for young people through training activities on leadership, organic farming, basic computer use and documentation, hydroponics, and painting. During the summertime, APC initiates a leadership program specifically designed for young people. The stories of Aijean, Jose, Reniel, and Eneriza prove that they learned valuable lessons, skills, and knowledge and they want to share these with many people as a commitment to a bright future. APC always aims to develop young leaders through a leadership program that teaches them confidence and of course to be a great example for others.

Aljean Loyola

I am Aijean Loyola, 29 years old. I am married with two children, and I am a high school graduate. My motivation in joining this program is to help my husband, but as it turned out, I learned many things as well such as work values in our formative class.

In joining this leadership training of FFLM, I experienced leading the team when working in the garden and the doing hydroponics gardening. I learned that it is not easy to lead others as they have different attitudes. But due to the learnings obtained during the formative sessions, I was able to lead and I am very glad because I learned a lot.

I thought garden work is very easy. But we worked under the sun and got exhausted, and I learned that there is a process when working in the garden that must be followed. Because of this experience, it excites me and my group and motivates us to put in more serious efforts during work.

In the formative sessions, we discussed leadership. I learned about the principles and values of being a leader. Being a leader means carefully evaluating oneself first before leading others. When helping others, it is not about being filled with pride or wanting to be appreciated or earning money. In leading others, one must be sincere and not expect for something in return.

I also learned to use organic fertilizers in the garden and contribute to food security and good health for all and minimizing soil degradation. There is also hydroponics gardening, a new method we learned where vegetables we planted use only water and nutrient solution for the plants to grow.

What I hope for myself is to be able to apply what I learned in the leadership training to my community and family, especially when there are problems. I also want to put this into practice in my daily life so that I am able to sharpen and deepen what I learned.

I also challenge my fellow members who were with me in the six weeks of the leadership program to apply what we learned as we help our community and be leaders for others especially the students. If we can apply the leadership principles we learned, there should be no reason not to reach our dreams.

Jose Cabale

My name is Jose Cabale, 24 years old. I am one of the trainees of the FFLM program. In joining the training, I knew that this experience will help me. I was encouraged to join this training since it is summertime and I was not doing anything at home. So I want to make good use of my time and joined this summer work. If I earn something, then I will use it to buy my school supplies as I prepare for school.

This program is helpful especially the formative sessions that discuss leadership. In working in the garden, I learned a lot and acquired knowledge on how to care for the plants. There is no need to use chemicals and only organic fertilizers like vermicast, compost, were used. Using these kinds of organic fertilizers will have good effects on human health.

I am hoping that the time will come when I can apply my learnings in life. I will also share with my community what I learned. And I want that my learnings contribute to my aspiration to be a resourceful person.

My challenge to the youth especially the other trainees is for them to apply in our lives what we learned and also to our communities. In this way, we can help our community to develop. We should not allow ourselves to waste the knowledge gained from this training. And because of this training, I realized that we should help each other because we can do nothing without a support system and we can reach our dreams.

Reniel Deloso

I am Reniel Deloso, 18 years old. This year, I will be an incoming Grade 12 student at APC. The reason I joined this leadership program was because as one of the learners of APC, I want to acquire more knowledge and also to support my needs as a student.

In this training, I learned how to paint and basic computer use. I am very happy that I know now how to paint, and it gives me joy because this is my first time to paint and I have improved in painting.

I am also happy because I acquired more knowledge about using the computer and I am excited to develop my skills further.

The formative sessions were important for my growth as a person and taught me valuable lessons on leadership. I have come to realize that it is essential to be firm when leading a group. This fosters trust and encourages others to look up to you as a leader. Demonstrating confidence and courage is key. I believe that these learnings will help me in the future. As a student, I need to prepare myself to achieve my dreams and to lead others. I am committed to apply the knowledge I gained for personal growth and to never forget these lessons. I am eager to share my talents and skills with my fellow youth because I want everyone to be united in helping one another.

Eneriza Menaling

My name is Eneriza Menaling, 17 years old. I am an incoming Grade 12 student at APC. I joined this training because I want to earn so that I can provide for my needs for the coming school year.

I learned a lot in this FFLM leadership training. I am particularly grateful to learn how to paint. At first, I felt bored because I thought painting was not for me. I tried my best to learn and do my part despite all the challenges and difficulties. With perseverance, I developed a new skill and appreciation for painting.

The formative classes taught me valuable lessons on leadership. Leading a team can be challenging but being a leader revealed my purpose in life: to continue making a positive impact within my community. As a student, it is important to step up and take on leadership roles because this enables me to achieve my ambitions in life.

In leading others, it is not only ourselves who benefit but also other people. We help others grow and learn when we lead them effectively.  In computer training, I learned computer skills and the ability to document events. This is valuable to me as this helps me find a good job in the future. Through these trainings, my self-confidence increased in speaking with other people.

I hope that the things I learned in this training will not be forgotten. I am committed to apply them in my personal life, in my family, and in my community. I want to be of help to my community and my family and support them if they need me.  I am also hoping that someday everyone will contribute something that could create a good impact so that our community will become progressive.

I will share the knowledge I gained from this program with the youth, and I will encourage them to pursue their goals and dreams in life even if trials come so that together we can uplift and empower one another. Through our efforts, we can contribute to sustainable development and create a better future for us.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to the APC newsletter