May 18, 2024

Hundreds of youth leaders and representatives in Baguio joined the fourth and last leg of the Global Youth Summit (GYS) in the city on Sept. 2.

Hosted by the Global Youth Foundation with support from SM Cares, the Baguio leg of the summit discussed with the young people critical issues in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals and featured talks from award winning individuals and achievers that aimed to inspire the youth to also strive to make a difference and succeed as the country’s future leaders.

Baguio’s own Sr. Guadalupe Bautista of the Mountain Maid Training and Development Foundation Inc. shared the humble beginnings of the institution behind Baguio’s iconic pasalubong products and how it helped poor but deserving students from the Cordillera finish their education through a student employment program.

She talked about “Youth Employment and Empowerment: Unlocking Opportunities for Economic Growth in the Philippines”.

Department of Health Cordillera Local Health Support Services Head Dr. Shelly Aral talked on “Addressing Health Disparities: Achieving Inclusive and Accessible Healthcare in the Philippines”.

City Environment and Parks Management Office head Atty. Rhenan Diwas discussed on “Addressing Sustainable Urbanization: Creating Climate-Resilient Cities in the Philippines”.

La Union Gov. Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David was also invited to share her experience in becoming the youngest and first woman governor of the province’s history at 25 years old and how she made her province-mates believe that young people, regardless of gender, are capable, dependable, innovative, and are able to lead.

Award-winning Filipino journalist Howie Severino shared knowledge on “Community Participation in Education: Creating a Supportive and Inclusive Learning”, while Carlo Sampan, head of MILO Sports, Nestle talked on “Good Health and Well-being: Addressing Health Disparities”.

Nick Chun, Youth Ambassador for Pacific Asia Travel Association inspired in “Creating a Shared Vision: Mobilizing the Masses for Positive Change”.

SM Mall Operations Senior Assistant Vice President Marc Janssen Pe said the GYS, now on its 10th year after it was first held in SM North Edsa followed by other key areas in the country, aims to empower the youth and young individuals with knowledge and tools to address current societal challenges.

He said it is a platform for collaboration enabling the youth to use their diverse talents to contribute to community and nation-building.

“We are determined to nurture leaders who are not only innovative but also grounded in morality, leaders who take proactive steps towards crafting a better world. This summit is your stepping stone and springboard to cultivate leadership qualities needed to bring about positive and impactful change,” Pe said.

He added the GYP and SM are committed to investing in dynamic youth leaders and will open its doors for youth leaders to organize their own GYS in their communities and schools next year.

Dr. Florida Labuguen, Global Peace Foundation Philippines trustee, thanked the youthfor showing their support and commitment to the GYS, which is widening the avenues and making the youth ready for future challenges. – Hanna C. Lacsamana