By Francis Ryan Pabiania | News Writer
Vol. XCI No. 18
Mar. 6, 2020
Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) President Aprille Roselle Vince Juanillo was among the three Filipino delegates who attended the 25th Session of the Youth Assembly (YA) in New York City, USA last Feb. 14-16.
The theme of YA was, “It’s Time: Youth for Global Impact,” and it gathered more than 600 young leaders from 100 countries to discuss and make solutions on the emerging global issues.
According to its official website, the Youth Assembly is a platform that cultivates a global network of young leaders and changemakers through exchange, education, and entrepreneurship.
“It aims to empower the next generation of leaders with opportunities to connect with like-minded peers, trailblazers, and influencers, develop global competence and critical skills, and transform their vision for a better future through innovative action,” it added.
Meanwhile, Juanillo was among the almost 60 delegates who chose the Global Development Leadership program, which took her to visit the United Nations and several offices, attended a special event in the DC capitol and intensive discussions.
The discussion focused on the topics of Human Development, Environment, and Peace. She was joined by two other delegates from the Philippines, Rezen Andaya and Enzo Castro, who were both representatives from Luzon.
Juanillo said that she was aware and started to follow the assembly since its 23rd session. She added that she knew several people who also joined it.
“I have always sought to be part of the Philippine delegation to YA. To me, it was a life-changing opportunity that impacted all its participants,” she said.
She recounted the first time she heard about the event, privileges, and stories of experiences from an SU alumnus, Jude Amiscaray when the SUSG invited him as a speaker in an Advocacy Capacity Building Camp.
Juanillo added: “In fact, it is in YA where he [Amsicaray] came across what would be my daily reminder to myself as a leader—’The greatest challenge of a leader is to be strong but not rude, kind but not weak, humble but not timid, proud but not arrogant.”
Apart from Amiscaray, Juanillo considered Keziah Therese Gerosano and Margarita Antonio—both ambassadors and delegate of the 24th session, as her biggest influences that made her join after the two personally invited her.
Gerosano is currently an intern in the United Nations and a Climate Reality Project leader.
Juanillo said, “Her career started in YA. As a Sillimanian and a Filipina, she encourages me to experience the same life-changing opportunity that she has encountered.”
For Juanillo, after she heard all the testimonies and analyzed the program, she realized that it was the program she hoped to join as the current SUSG president.
She reasoned out that her participation will acknowledge the participation of Silliman University itself in the program and as a way of introducing the university to the Youth Assembly community.
While the SUSG is in time for their preparation “to leave sustainable measures for the next administration.”
She said, “All that I will learn from the program will be vital to what I can contribute in the remaining months of my term, especially in training the next administration during the transition period.”
She added that her reasons for joining include: to gain connections, to build a global network of leaders, introduce several projects, and re-echo what she had learned in the program and among others.
“Finally, I have always wanted to be part of the United Nations. As a graduating student, this opportunity will truly be life-changing as it will take me a step closer to my goal by engaging with people from the UN,” she ended.
Meanwhile, Juanillo shared she “felt utter amazement and gratefulness” to be in a program with global leaders and people who established impact in the global arena.
She said the program was an avenue to build a global network and she appreciated the company of other cultures the entire three days.
“Everyone is all so different from another, with different pain points and movements but all working towards the betterment of the community within their reach,” she said.
Moreover, Juanillo shared that there’s a “return program in place,” and she planned to incorporate it on the tentative second run of the advocacy capacity building camp.
“There is such a big world out there, but every single one of us can also make the biggest impact we can,” she ended.
Photo from su.edu.ph