JHS LTS: Unleashing the Leader Within

by Matheson Cuan (10B)
Photo by Mr. Pierre Reniva, HS SAP Coordinator (L-R: Ryan Delos Reyes, Matthew Hou, Alejandro Dy, Adam Dy Juanco, Zander Sy, Mico Go, Sen. Richard Gordon, James Gordon, Ravi Reyes, Javi Amador)

The Junior High School (JHS) Council of Class Officers held its Leadership Training Seminar (LTS) last July 1-2. The LTS was designed to train the class officers to be better models to their fellow classmates and to be ready to seize the future as the school year progresses. The seminar had a variety of activities prepared for the officers. These included talks (featuring two very notable guest speakers), team-building activities (both as a batch, and as a council), and even free time for bonding.

The overarching theme for this school year’s LTS was student empowerment. Since Xavier is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, faculty moderators such as Mr. Jean Pierre Reniva, Mr. James Rivera, Ms. Perpetua Cuevas, and Mr. Rene Mendoza briefly explained to the JHS Council of Class Officers what it means to empower people and how to do so. They mentioned that empowerment is about encouraging others–about pushing them to “let their light shine.” As cliché as it may seem, empowerment brings out the best in us and is essential not just to every officer, but to every student in Xavier. As such, the officers were tasked not just to empower themselves, but also to reach out and empower their fellow students.

The SAP also talked about sparking far-reaching change. They told the council to reach out to the peripheries, to extend their acts of service to not just within Xavier School, but also to the bigger world. The officers met by batch and, headed by their respective moderators, had a casual group conversation where they shared various ideas they had in mind–ideas which would be taken into consideration and maybe even put into action later on. In line with Xavier’s Diamond Jubilee Year, the school aims to empower more students to take the initiative to give a helping hand, to light someone’s way, and to make a difference in this country.

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To give the student leaders a clearer grasp of what it means to be a leader, the school invited two guest speakers to talk about leadership and empowerment. The first speaker, Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, the grandfather of JHS Vice President James Gordon, gave an inspiring talk about leadership and taking the initiative. He talked about his life, what he has achieved in being a leader, and how to be an effective one. He provided a couple of mnemonics to remember, one of which is the 4V’s every leader must uphold: vision, values, volunteerism, and victory. Another is the 5F’s, traits that a leader should have: focused, fast, friendly, flexible and forward-looking. Senator Gordon truly inspired the students, calling them to reach out to the peripheries like he did. To end his speech, he left us with this: “I’d rather know where I’m going and not know how to get there, than not knowing where I’m going but know how to.”

Sen. Richard Gordon giving a talk to the participants (Photo by Mr. James Rivera, HS SAP Assistant)

The second speaker was none other than the former Student Council (SC) President, Rene Tan, who shared his experiences of being a student leader. According to him, even if he had his shortcomings, these did not stop him from achieving his goals. He told the students that “before you dream big, you must dream small. You need to begin from humble beginnings before you can tackle greater challenges.”

This year’s LTS has been the first of its kind in a large span of time. Having said that, I, being a participant of this event, cannot stress how surprised I am to see how successful the SAP and the Student Council Executive Board is in executing the event. They, in one way or another, truly achieved their goal of inspiring and empowering this year’s batch of officers. May these officers be able to spread their light to others, that the everyday Xaverian may let his light shine as well.

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