As members of the next generation, it’s our responsibility to take action for situations, where we can make a difference. Even the smallest of actions can make the biggest impact in someone else’s life. This is the time to create opportunities, leave your mark and make it happen.
“Leave your mark.” – Teach for the Philippines
Finding ourselves in the busy streets of Makati, we frantically looked around for that one building we just had to find. The place was not as accessible, but we wanted to go and meet more people who could connect us to the people whose lives we could impact. Already late, we walked into the Teach for the Philippines head office, only to ask ourselves if we were in the right place, as it was nowhere near expected.
We were stunned by the atmosphere of the room. What we thought was going to be a business-like conference turned out to be a laid back gathering of people working from different organizations working towards one goal – to build a better Philippines. This would be a Philippines where the well-off would want to send their children to public schools because finally, standards would not be as far back as private institutions.
Meeting the fellows at Teach for the Philippines was definitely an amazing experience. The fellows were the teachers who spent an incredible amount of time guiding and teaching students in various public schools. We applaud these teachers for their extensive perseverance and patience as what they are doing is not as easy as it seems. Their heartwarming experiences with different encounters truly inspired us to reach out more because we saw that the children of the Philippines definitely needed our help.
Aside from meeting the teachers from the public institutions, we also got to meet several other organizations. Seeing how far these organizations have come gave us the motivation to strive harder. Their stories come from way back when they were simply starting out with limited resources and opportunities, but seeing how they have grown and developed, it gave us the courage to pursue our goals. Because of their ventures, we were inspired to continue trying to turn the dreams of our fellow Filipinos into reality. We saw how their once wishful thoughts have become accomplishments beyond their imaginations.
Being the youngest amongst the people at the event, we were constantly asked, “So, what are you doing here?” But once we explained our vision for the Philippines – a country where people are actively helping out each other and collaborating to create a society where everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dreams, they were finally more open to interacting with us. Because we weren’t exactly of age, some of them thought we were insane for having such radical goals and ideas of wanting to make an impact at such a youthful age. But seeing that we had the vision and initiative, they believed that we were capable of achieving our goals and dreams.
Coming out of the event, we realised one thing – that we could. If all those people standing in the room found a way to achieve their dreams, then so can we. It doesn’t matter how young we are, or how ambitious our dreams are – as long as we put in the time and the effort, eventually, we will succeed; all we have to do is take action.
This article is co-written by Leah Go Tian and Maxine Romualdez.