17 APRIL 2023
Embassy Press and Information Section
WASHINGTON D.C. – The 24-member student delegation of the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) visited the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on April 17, 2023, as they concluded their month-long leadership training program in the United States. The Philippine Embassy, represented by Consul General Iric Cruz Arribas and Third Secretary Mark Dominic E. Lim, welcomed the youth leaders to the Embassy, and shared their professional experiences on several topics of interest in a free discussion.
PYLP is an annual leadership development exchange that offers Philippine secondary students ages 15-17 years old and adult mentors from Mindanao, Philippines for a four-week training in the United States. PYLP focuses on responsible citizenship, civic leadership, community development, and project management. This initiative is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State in partnership with Northern Illinois University in the U.S. and University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Mindanao, Philippines. This year’s leadership training focused on peace-building, environmental preservation, and asset based community development.
The discussion between Embassy officials and the student leaders focused on the duties and responsibilities of a diplomat, PH-US diplomatic relations, and role of the Embassy to the Filipino Community abroad, among other topics.
When asked how diplomats handle the pressure of having such a big responsibility to the country, Consul General Arribas answered “There is no stress when you like what you are doing. As a diplomat, it should be in your heart to uplift your country in the international community. When I think about my job at the embassy, I try to see it with a wider lens. As we perform our consular tasks at the Embassy, we assist our individual clients, but collectively, we help the Filipino people. As we help the FIlipino people, we make the Philippines a better country.”
The discussion was followed by a musical performance by the delegates where they presented their respective advocacies in various local and global issues such as education, women’s rights, equality and social justice, climate change, etc.
The delegation, led by NIU Program Director Ms. Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail, have successfully concluded their training and will soon be heading home to the Philippines to hopefully put to practice the knowledge they have learned in the program as the next generation leaders of our community.
More information on the PYLP can be found via their website at https://pylp.org/