In the Philippines, every barangay (village) is led by a Village Captain and seven Councilors. These officials are elected and serve as the basic government unit of the village. They plan and implement government policies, make local community programs and projects, as well as keeping every resident safe.
There is a youth version of this position which is called the Youth Council. This is led by the Youth Council Chairman and the seven Youth Councilors. Their projects are mainly for the benefit of the youth in their village.
When our scholar Melanie, was in her senior year in college, she was encouraged to run for office as a Youth Councilor. She was hesitant at first, however, her interest in trying something new and serving other people took over. She won as the First Youth Councilor and had then supported the youth chairman’s projects. She liked being a Youth Councilor and she loved supporting the chairman.
What happened next, was something she did not expect. The Youth Chairman had to leave his position to focus on his career. Being the First Councilor meant she was the first in line to take over the Youth Chairman position. She was terrified and didn’t feel she was ready for it. With her parents and fellow councilor’s encouragement; and again, her interest in trying something new and helping others, made her decide to fully commit as the new Youth Council Chairman in Barangay Turac, San Carlos City. She had then continued and started multiple programs in the village: Sports league to help prevent the focus on drug use, alcohol and gambling. Aids prevention, Coping with depression and Computer literacy workshops.
This experience helped her to become more confident in herself. She discovered joy and fulfillment in seeing smiles from the people who they helped through her leadership. The main takeaways she learned from this experience are: Take the leap and believe in yourself; and to never lose sight of love for helping others even if your actions are not seen nor appreciated.
We are very proud of you Melanie and your councilors in Brgy. Turac! Keep up the good work and stay safe. We appreciate all your hard work.
Until next week everyone, stay blissful!