July 15, 2024

We can totally agree if one would claim the current crop of youth is the most empowered generation in history, so far, and if one happens to be among the Generation or Gen Z, we would totally understand the pressure of being the next leaders who are expected to act one right now, and on whose shoulders rest the future of the next generations.
At the last leg of the Global Youth Summit held in Baguio City, organized by the Global Youth Foundation with the support of SM, students and youth leaders were informed about pressing societal concerns related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and were challenged to take action by creating a positive and impactful change in their community and for the country.
Issues on health, gender equality and inclusivity, climate change and modern-day environment concerns, as well as personal challenges faced by the Gen Z in their studies and in meeting the high expectations of society in becoming future leaders were tackled by homegrown and self-made resource speakers.
The experts shared inconvenient truths about the world we all are living in, and advised how the youth of today can respond, survive, change mindset if need be, and be the positive change the society needs in riding the tides of this ever evolving environment.
Earlier, an innovation hub, the first in Baguio City, was opened to provide the youth a space where they can explore, create, and come up with something out of their ideas that may help in solving the problems being encountered by the city or their community. The space allows young minds to engage and collaborate with fellow students and polish their abilities with the help of mentors through trainings and workshops.
It is an endeavor the city wants to be useful and sustainable; it only needs the youth to come, populate it, and make most out of its state-of-the-art facilities.
With these activities, plus with Baguio being an education center, its young people should have a lot of avenues at their disposal to become upright individuals and achievers in their chosen crafts.
They sure can be considered the most empowered, being born at the height of the digital age where modern technologies place everything they need to know to grow at the palm of their hand, which now even artificial intelligence can do for them.
The youth of today are also fortunate to have mentors from older generations behind them – they could listen and learn from how learning was in the old days, where there was no Internet, Google, Wikipedia, social media, and interactive communication mediums, which now make things a lot easier and convenient.
We may say the older generations are luckier for having experienced both worlds – labored with the typewriter and then swiping touch screens today – but the young ones now can be more empowered by appreciating and taking advantage of the achievements of the “young once” every generation is benefitting from, right now.
Therefore, when we get reports about our younger people acquiring harmful vices which they learned by using modern devices, or at least 18 barangays in the city with no candidates for Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons and only few filing for candidacy for an SK council seat, or are experiencing mental health issues and other personal concerns, we knew the village has a lot more to do in raising our children well.
While no generation is perfect, we believe our current generation of youths can do a lot better with proper support and guidance from the ground up, from their family, their community, and their country.
While almost everything now is at their disposal, our young ones need to know they have warm bodies to turn to in person for proper guidance. The digital world may have everything to offer, but our future leaders need not have to take comfort from faceless buddies and navigate the fast-paced world unguided or misguided.
Let us not get tired engaging them. They need help in easing the pressure brought by high expectations for being considered as the most empowered generation in history, as the older generations did when they were leading towards now.
As an advice, a Global Youth Summit speaker urged the youth to “know your purpose. It does not have to be today. It does not have to be tomorrow. Make the most of what you have right now, find that sweet red spot, and develop your skills to make a positive change.”