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Philobioscientia’s first installment of Youth Turn talks about leadership, encourages youth to take on leadership roles

Also in attendance were Kabataan Partylist Representative Hon. Sarah Elago and VP Leni Robredo as keynote speakers. 

Philobioscientia, the UPLB Life Sciences Society, commenced their first installment of Youth Turn last May 22, with Kabataan Partylist Representative Hon. Sarah Elago and Vice President Leni Robredo as the opening speakers. 

Youth Turn 2021 is a leadership webinar series that aims to address the significance of leadership in various social fields. In this year’s first edition, the webinar series addressed the three key sectors in which leadership may be exerted, which are as follows: leadership in the area of research; leadership in the student body; and leadership in an organization. 

Each of these were tackled by the event’s three guest speakers, including UP Faculty Regent Dr. Aimee Lynn Dupo, UP Student Regent Renee Co, and Gabriela Youth’s Anna Mikaela Noble, respectively.

Roles of leadership towards making changes 

In her keynote speech, Kabataan Partylist Representative Hon. Sarah Elago asked how the audience can strengthen their preexisting abilities and skills in amplifying the voice of the students, youth, and, most importantly, Filipinos.

Paano ba natin papandayin pa ang ating mga talento, ang ating talino? Paano natin gugugulin ang ating oras upang sistematiko at organisado na palalakasin hindi lang ang ating mga indibidwal na boses kundi ang mga boses ng mga estudyante, ng mga kabataan, kasama ng mas malawak na sambayanang Pilipino?” she asked. 

Together with Vice President Leni Robredo, also a keynote speaker, they emphasized the importance of “youth in leadership,” and how the youth is key in paving the way for a better tomorrow. 

“The past years have shown us how interconnected we are as people. The pandemic fills each one of us with the same anxiety, the same fear. Lahat damang-dama ang epektong dulot ng pandemya. Bata man o matanda, mayaman o mahirap, kahit sino, kahit saan ka nagtatrabaho, kahit ano ang estado mo sa buhay. May uncertainty sa kinabukasan natin that can sometimes make us feel powerless.” Vice President Robredo expressed. 

She then discussed how people can better respond to such changes and transitions, saying that there is not a single answer as to how people can adapt.

“We cannot be paralized by these uncertainties. We need to keep moving forward,” she added. 

In the publication’s online interview with Ernestine Ramos, the Project Head of Youth Turn 2021, she reiterated that the youth are more than capable in shaping the future through leadership. She also added that as leaders for life and knowledge, the youth should take and inspire action for their fellow young people. 

“This event is one way for us to raise awareness on the importance of youth action through leadership as we aspire to create a world we continuously hope for today, so that we may achieve it in the upcoming future,” was her two cents on the said webinar. 

Three main sectors of leadership

In her talk on  leadership in the area of research, Dr. Dupo stressed several key attributes of a leader in the academe: accountability, time management, and humility.

Above everything else, Dr. Dupo emphasized the idea that everyone is a work in progress. 

“People should be lifelong learners. You should be able to change yourself from time to time; your current environment and your future environment will never be the same,” reminded Dr. Dupo. 

Following Dr. Dupo was SR Co, who tackled the importance of leadership in the student body, particularly in the UP System.

Co discussed how different organizations, big and small, can make an impact into a larger arena. She shared how a group holds a power in creating positive impacts and social changes if people stand and rise together. Doing so, conquering and overcoming greater heights will not be impossible. She also added that leaders are not created in just a snap, but rather through time and experience. 

“We need everyone, as they say, to step up, take up leadership positions, take risks, make organizations, form teams, forward causes that are beyond you. In this way, we are able to see what’s beyond self-interest, what’s greater out there for us all.” She elaborated as to how young people will be able to have a wider reach for their advocacies. 

“You don’t become leaders in a snap. You take small, incremental steps as you go along in your undergrad affairs and overall journey,” Co explained. 

Explaining that the youth have been captives of repression, prejudice, and complexities, Co says that they have become one of the strongholds in continuously fighting for a change in this “traditionally-led” society. These small changes we see are products of the collective actions made by the youth. 

Finally, Noble, Secretary-General of Gabriela Youth Southern Tagalog and 2020 Chairperson of Gabriela Youth UPLB, spoke about the ideals and skills of a leader in an organization, giving a thought-provoking presentation about the goals of various groups in colleges and the community.

She also highlighted the significance of knowing what the youth are fighting and standing up for, and the importance of acknowledging the people that they are leading. She also emphasized how the youth have the potential to lead their communities.

On top of that, she added that an organization is born with a mission, and that purpose is what motivates a leader to keep going despite the “101 obstacles” that might hinder them along the road.

“It is important to trust the strength and capabilities of our constituents. We do it for them, pero hindi natin sila minamaliit,” she said.   

Call for academic ease and safe resumption of face-to-face classes

Before concluding the webinar, Philobioscientia asked all students to join their plea for the safe resumption of face-to-face classes; for academic ease; and for a humane, inclusive, and suitable education amidst the pandemic.

(RELATED STORIES: Students petition for academic ease after a month of remote learning, Class suspension denied by UPLB admin; students amplify calls for academic leniency, safe return to classes, and Youth strike back, calls for acad ease last International Students’ Day

They also called the attention of the administration to engage and support all scientifically-reliable decisions in mitigating the pandemic; to allocate more funds for research and medical institutions; and to campaign in battling the rampant issues on fake news. 

Finally, Philobioscientia encouraged women and young people to take on leadership roles, recognizing that they are more capable than what their age and gender dictate. Youth participation in politics is critical to enacting more relevant, nonpartisan, and inclusive changes not just in the government, but also in persistent issues in the society at large. 

(RELATED STORIES: Taking up space: Honoring the women of Southern Tagalog and What feminism is). [P]

Photo from Philobioscientia

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