Here is a copy of Ms. Rossana Llenado’s speech delivered during the 1st Serye Kabataan held at the Ateneo De Manila High School.
I am very happy to be here today because this event – Serye Kabataan – is all about the youth. It is all about YOU.
Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. – This is something I’ve always believed in. In fact, I believe in it so much that I dedicated my life to helping make it come true.
You see, for almost 14 years, our company has been committed to young people, to you. We are committed to helping you achieve better performance in school, preparing you for admission to the best universities, motivating you to enjoy learning, and inspiring you to be the best that you can be.
We are committed to fulfilling the youth’s role in the future of our country, through quality education. We believe that with quality education, a person gains the capacity to achieve great things – great things that will help himself, his loved ones, the country, and maybe even the world.
Our original mission-vision states that every individual, given the proper guidance and the means to employ his talents and energies wisely, can realize his full potential as a student, a person, and a productive member of the community. This goes for each and every one of you.
You can reach your full potential if you pay attention to your studies and try to absorb what you can. Learning is not limited to the four walls of your classroom. Even while you’re outside of school or at home, you are still learning. This event is a perfect example of learning outside the classroom. I was a student leader like you myself. When I was a student in UP, I was a member of 10 organizations, in all of them I held important leadership roles. But before that I also attended various leadership training programs such as this. Seven years after I graduated, I again found myself to be a member and officer of again 10 organizations. And even now I attend several learning seminar and workshops sometimes as many as 3 a month. I even enrolled for masters in here in Ateneo and in AIM. You see I really believe in learning in and outside the classroom because I want to be able to learn how to help others reach their full potential.
You don’t have time to join 10 orgs or attend seminars while in high school. But as of now, you can apply what you learn in every situation you find yourself in, so that it will become embedded in your mind. For example, if you learn about proper money management, practice it to budget your allowance. Soon, it will become second nature to you and a normal part of your lifestyle.
You can reach your full potential when you practice the right values and attitude. Your principles and attitude build your character. Always work on your character because this is a big part of your success or failure. My favorite values are leadership, excellence, and responsibility. These are the values that we try to develop in our company and in all our students. And these values are part of what this event is teaching you as well.
Responsibility – As the future of the nation, you are taught to have the courage to rise to the challenge of taking the Philippines toward progress.
Excellence – Given the responsibility of helping the country, you must learn to always strive for the best, in order to take the Philippines to progress.
Leadership – If you are consistently pursuing excellence, you will emerge a leader. Leadership is not simply being the best of the best. It is about consistently being the best that you can be. And most of all, leadership is about helping others become leaders on their own or at least becoming the best that they can be. .
Your parents work hard to give you the best. You parents give you all the things that you need and more. They send you to the best schools so you can have the best teachers, the best lessons and the best campus experiences. This is why the best is also expected of you.
When you finish high school, aim for the best universities. Ateneo, La Salle, and UP are not just the best in the Philippines — they are among the best in the world. With a diploma from any of these schools, many opportunities will be opened up to you not only here but all over the world. But only 10% of the 100,000 who apply to Ateneo, La Salle, and UP get accepted. This is why you have to work hard for a slot. In many of the best schools in Metro Manila, only about 3% of the graduating class get in.
A bright future awaits you — if you are willing to stay ahead. Do more. Be more.
One way is going to a review center even if you are already at the top of your class. This is the mark of a true leader – taking responsibility for your skills and talents, and aiming for excellence by taking advantage of the resources available to you so that you can reach your full potential.
Many honour students and school leaders have even used the advantage of going to a tutorial center to help them in their daily lessons. Before getting help from a tutor, they had to study until midnight. But with a tutorial, they have more time to do the things they enjoy. After coming from only an hour long tutorial, they don’t even have to study at home anymore. They can just enjoy being with their family, or they can watch TV, sleep early – basically use the free time to do whatever they want. Before, without the help of the tutorial, they didn’t have time for anything else. Tutorial and review centers are most useful to student leaders because then they are free to do their project if they already understand their lessons.
Even the best basketball players need a coach.
Information is at your fingertips. When you need to learn about something, you can just “google” it. During our time, we had to go through the whole card catalogue before we could find the book that may or, as is the case most of the time, may NOT have the answers to our questions. Take advantage of every resources you have, every help you can find and every chance to learn. Be happy to be ahead.
I really believe that education is our country’s only hope. When I was just a little older than you, I dreamt of improving the country’s education by putting up a teacher training foundation which would give teachers free education. Since 2006, we have been training hundreds of teachers. We were chosen by DepEd to train the best teachers of Metro Manila’s public schools. And we have been conducting private seminars for teachers from all over the country.
I revised that dream a little bit by focusing on principals—who are really the prime movers of education. I am living that dream now. Through the Educ18 Foundation for School Leadership Excellence, we hope to inspire more people to be educators, to help more principals run their school excellently, and to make others more aware of the school principal’s contribution to society. On December 5 & 6, we will again be holding a seminar for principals right here in Ateneo.
This was just a dream before, but it is now becoming a reality. You too can dream and make it real—if you set your heart and mind to it. You have all the reasons to succeed and no excuse to fail.
Much is expected of you. Some day you will be the leaders of this country. You will be making waves in business, in public service, in medicine and science, in law, and hopefully in education as well. Your peers will be following you, looking up to you.
When our company has training programs, I always tell my staff that they should also be at their best because we are serving the future. We are serving you.
During the training for our new lecturers, I always tell them that they are heroes. Because teachers will always be heroes.
We only get the top 1% of the graduating class from Ateneo Lasalle and UP as lecturers… Being at the top of their class, they have the responsibility of sharing their “galing.” Can you imagine if teachers are not “magaling?” But if teachers are good, they can develop good students, who can become good leaders, good doctors, lawyers, engineers, or teachers, and good voters – good voters who can vote for a good president and good lawmakers, who can make the country ahead of the rest.
You know, I’ve always believed that the Philippines is a paradise. Without politics and some greedy and irresponsible people, we have all that it takes to say we are. It’s up to the future to make it better every day.
So give the future a better chance. You are here and you have the responsibility to make it happen.
With that, I wish each of you a bright and promising future ahead.
I am really very happy being able to talk to you today. Thank you!