By Kriztja Marae G. Labrador
Three Silliman student- leaders qualified for the final screening phase of the 16th Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC 2014).
They are Mikle Vito Abing, a junior political science student and President of the Luce Auditorium Corps of Ushers and Usherettes;
Jeff Nicolo Palad, a junior medical technology student and vice president of the Silliman University Student Government; and
Michiko Je Bito-on, a junior mass communication student and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Sillimanian.
AYLC, an annual youth leader summit sponsored by the Ayala Group of Companies, aims to “develop the skills of student leaders
in order for them to be the initiators of positive change in the community.” The screening was held last Nov. 19-21 at the Ayala
Corporation Headquarters in Tower One, Makati City.
The final part of the selection was the panel interview composed of top executives from the Ayala Group of Companies and alumni of AYLC.
One of the participants, Bitoon said she was honored to be ableto “interact with students who are truly concerned with socially
relevant issues and who do their best to make the lives of people better through their own advocacy.”
“The greatest realization I had was that no matter what position of power you hold–student government, student publication
or community organization– you develop the initiative to work hard and sacrifice for others and thereby, improve your personal
qualities in the long run,” she added.
Palad said he learned to humble himself with the experience through the support of the panelists.
His favorite part of the AYLC event was the orientation prior to the interview because it reminded participants to be “their real selves.”
Bito-on, on the other hand, said she liked the “nerve-wracking”interview itself because she got to share her thoughts with people who have “great visions.”
“Being in one room with the panelists seemed like a glimpse of what it means to be a student journalist-leader and what it means
to have a culture and set of values that are centered on social consciousness and integrity of character,” she said.
Out of the 165 interviewees only 81 student leaders will be chosen as delegates of the congress which will be on Feb.11- 14, 2014, at Alfonso, Cavite.