FSRM senior associate encourages youth empowerment

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Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM) senior associate Ruben Simon, Jr. was one of the speakers during the talk entitled “Empowering the Youth, Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow” at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) CME Auditorium. Ben joined UST professor Edwin Martin and Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines alumnus Dion Lorenz Romano in presenting diverse ways of encouraging youth participation and advocating a stand for youth empowerment.

Ben talked about the Zero Dropout Program, explaining how basic education is vital and a bedrock of youth empowerment. The program, implemented by Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) and funded by the WS Family Foundation and Kazarian Foundation, aims to bring the drop-out rate in primary education to zero. In September 2013, teams from FSRM visited eight provinces to perform financial audits, program validation and improvement identification projects.

When asked by a freshman for advice on how to become empowered in the midst of his studies, Ben advised the audience to “go out of your comfort zone and explore. There are a lot of things you’ll learn outside the confines of your classrooms.”

Taking the podium first, Professor Martin heralded that youth empowerment is a prerequisite to youth participation, implying that one cannot truly immerse in developmental activities without sufficient awareness. Meanwhile, Mr. Romano spoke on Project POGI (Promoting Outstanding Governance Initiative), which aims to foster a culture of honesty, accountability, transparency and integrity in youth leadership that should be preserved into adulthood.