Friday, April 15, 2011

OMYLC: Leadership with an ‘Oh, my!’ twist

 IT was a leadership camp that made you exclaim “Oh, my!”

“Iba talaga siya sa mga series of leadership trainings na napuntahan ko. Totally bago siya,” explained camper Michael Angelo Matchimura, 18, of the City College of Calapan.

“Masaya siya, sobra. We learned a lot. And what’s so great about it, it is a province wide camp. We have new friends, new learning and insights, and everything is new,” he added.

Michael was just one of the 92 campers of the first ever Oriental Mindoro Young Leaders Camp (OMYLC) run last April 9 to 11, 2011 at the San Augustine Seminary in Oriental Mindoro.

The OMYLC is the product of the Leadership Communities (LeadCom) Program – Oriental Mindoro, a multi-stakeholder program developed by Ayala Foundation, Inc. Under this program, partner schools form a “Leadership Community” that will champion youth leadership development in its area.

LeadCom’s primary goal is to organize and conduct a 3-day leadership congress for student leaders of its partner schools. The leadership congress provides students a venue to interact, learn leadership values, and hone their skills to help become positive agents of change in their respective communities.

Partner schools of LeadCom Oriental Mindoro are Ark of the Covenant Montessori Chamber of Learning, City College of Calapan, Divine Word College of Calapan, Luna Goco Colleges, Inc., Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) – Bongabong Campus, MinSCAT – Calapan City Campus, MinSCAT – Main Campus, Prince of Peace College, St. Anthony College, and St. Augustine Seminary.

“I have new learnings with me, like how important it is to build trust. And I carry with me the five values we have as one whole group, faith in God and others, respect, unity, excellence as a leader, and loving service,” said Mary Grace Malbog of the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology – Calapan City.

Likewise partnering in LeadCom – Oriental Mindoro is the Active Aid Partnership (AAP), a newly established Non-Government Organization from Denmark. AAP has actively extended its aid to the LeadCom program, as the program follows the organization’s thrust of supporting empowerment and development projects among children and young people.

“I got a feeling that they (delegates) did a lot of reflecting for the past three days. They seemed to have gained a lot, they’ve built trust. It’s actually quite amazing to see what they’ve learned,” shared Rolf Andersen of AAP.

“The excitement we had for this just exploded over the past three days. This has definitely been something,” he added.
For the 92 campers, the leadership camp was an unforgettable experience that nobody would easily forget. Designed to hone their leadership capacities and offer a greater sense of self-awareness, the camp offered various outdoor activities, plenary discussions, and small group activities that fostered to an environment of reflection and learning.

The delegates were likewise introduced to the servant leadership framework, the underlying leadership framework followed by the LeadCom Program. Servant-leadership’s main concept is that the leader is servant first. Simon Mossesgeld, Congress Director of the Ayala Young Leaders Congress guided the delegates through the journey of becoming a servant leader. 

“We pretty much know of leadership – everything there is about it theoretically. But here, we are given the chance to apply servant leadership in everything we do,” shared Matchimura.

This is the second run of the LeadCom program, with its first run in Catanduanes in the Bicol region in October 2010, staging the “1st Catanduanes Student Leaders Congress for 79 student leaders from seven partner schools.

The LeadCom program draws inspiration from the annual Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC), and was developed to provide an opportunity for a greater number of young leaders to grow and improve their leadership capacities. This is in response to the challenge posed by Ayala Corporation’s Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala to provide student leaders who do not get to take part in AYLC, but are no less outstanding in their own right, a leadership development program inspired by the Congress.

“The vision is to see a country that is lead by servant leaders. And that’s the purpose of LeadCom, to offer a steady supply of these servant leaders,” said Mario A. Deriquito, senior director of Ayala Foundation, Inc.

In the long run, the program envisions that the established Leadership Community in Oriental Mindoro will carry on with the mission of youth leadership development on a regular and sustained basis.

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