Monday, June 1, 2009

Take the Lead the AYLC Way

(This feature article was published in Hinge Inquirer's Dasmariñas Gazette for their Graduation Edition)

Take the Lead the AYLC Way
By Maria Alina Co

So you’re a year away from getting that ultimate college diploma. Inevitably, that means you’re about to embark and take on the world very very soon.

The mere thought of it gives you the jitters. Never mind that your internship keeps reminding you of that impending doom. If only you can be Hiro Nakamura for just a second and have the power to stop time, you would.

But nothing can prepare you more for the “real world” than this existing program in the Philippines, created for young college students like you. If you have what it takes, that is.

The AYLC Way

The Ayala Youth Leaders’ Congress or AYLC is a yearly summit that brings together promising students leaders from colleges and universities from all over the country. The congress proper is a three-day event involving workshops, lectures, outdoor activities designed to hone students’ leadership skills and potentials.

Shaping tomorrow’s leaders, AYLC has been honing and supporting student leaders for over a decade.

Ever heard of the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? JQ Quesada, Manager of Ayala Youth Development Unit, is convinced it’s both.

“The AYLC serves as a platform for young leaders to interact and network with fellow leaders. It opens a network to our alumni, and even to friends, the chance to find connections that will help them realize their leadership goals.”

But, better be warned, Ayala Youth is not looking for someone who’s all As and perfect attendance. More than a good academic performance, an Ayala Youth candidate is someone who has a track record of committed service and leadership involvement.

A Good Leader

So, you up for the AYLC challenge? You want to lead? First know what it takes to be a good leader.

“In our present society, there is a great need for leaders with integrity, who stand for clear values and purpose, and who is able to elicit the trust of those he/she serves…we need leaders today who stand for something—values, principles, dreams and advocacies—and who fight to make change happen.” – JQ Quesada, Manager

“A good leader is someone who can empathize with his/her people. Someone who can relate to them but knows when to draw the line between office and non-office relations.” – Dang Victor, 22, Sports Writer-Producer

“A good leader is one who isn't afraid to make the tough decisions, even the unpopular ones. The mark of a good leader is when they display strength that others can draw from” – Vitto Lazatin, Media Marketing Officer

“He/she must have the knack of making people listen to him because it's hard to take charge when the people aren't paying attention to you; He/she must be open-minded and not biased towards him/herself. That means he/she is not a tyrant, meaning hindi niya ine-expect na siya lagi masusunod.”—Krista Pedroso, 20 yrs. old

“A good leader is flexible and has balance. He can balance between reaching the goals of the team, at the same time thinking of what’s good for them. Kailangan yung may paninindigan sa tao, walang iwanan, walang laglagan.”—Armi Rae Cacanindin, 24, Film Practitioner

Conquer the World No More

So if you think you have what it takes, take the lead. One year is enough time to hone that leadership potential in you. Rather than conquering the world, try changing it for a “change”. It doesn’t have to be that big a difference.

JQ emphasizes, “Many graduates first think of flocking to Manila, to areas with more opportunities. But one thing we tell our young leaders is to give back to their communities first. Use their knowledge and skills to improve lives of their community.”

*To know more about AYLC, visit

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