by Josh Lam (H3A), Stallion News Editor

Xavier student leaders participated in the first Serye Kabataan (SK) held at the Ateneo High School (AHS) last November 30, 2008.

Ms. Barbara Magallona, HS English teacher, accompanied juniors, Josh Lam and Timothy Chua, and sophomore, Eries Chan to the event. They were joined by students from General Aguinaldo High School, Miriam College, and Marikina Catholic High School, to name a few.

SK is a youth congress, which challenges student leaders to synergize their talents and make a difference in society. The name of the event truly reflects its goal [with Serye, meaning series, and Kabataan, meaning youth], which is to train a series of young leaders to bring a brighter future to the Philippines.

We wanted you guys to get a glimpse of what goes on in our organizations here in Ateneo,” said Vincci Santiago, speaker and Filipino editor of Pugad, the literary publication of Ateneo.

The main event named “Team Synergy and Youth Synergy Presentations” challenged the participants to formulate projects which will help people in need on the spot.

After the 40-minute period allotted for preparations, groups of students, each acting as one of the three major organizations of Ateneo which are the Assembly of Class Officers (ACO), the Council of Student Organizations (CSO), and the Athletics Council (AthC), presented their plans to help typhoon victims of Northern Luzon through a variety of skits and oral briefings.

Following the opening remarks made by AHS assistant principal Mr. Leandro Balmaceda, student activity coordinator Mr. Noel Miranda proceeded with his talk “Life Levels of Student Groups and the Eight Elements of Effective Organizations.” He stressed the importance of breathing life into one’s organization by clearly stating its meaning and purpose to its members and backing it up with concrete action. He also mentioned that the factors that hinder the effectiveness of an organization are self-centeredness, fear, and failure to understand the power of student groups.

Afterwards, participants were separated into six smaller groups. These groups attended different talks given by representatives of several organizations of Ateneo. Participants didn’t only learn a thing or two about leadership, they also built bridges of friendship in the process.

SK concluded with a speech by Rossana Llenado, the founder and president of Ahead Tutorial and Review Center, which was a major sponsor.

I can assure you that using what I’ve learned from this seminar, I would be more attentive to the social impact of the upcoming projects and implementation of school values and policies,” remarked Timothy Chua, representative of the Youth Christian Life Community (YCLC) club.

For those who aren’t student leaders yet, don’t be intimidated by the student leaders of your class because there is always enough work for everyone. Of course, you can’t be a leader overnight. You can start by being a member of a club or committee to gain experience. Then just work your way up from there,” advised Ms. Magallona.

Organizers are planning to have the SK annually, so that through networking, schools can improve by benchmarking their best practices and sharing their resources.

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