October 2020 | IV
The Youth Christian Life Community of the Senior High School Department of Ateneo de Davao University was conferred the Fr. Pedro Arupe Award for Community Engagement during the Club Awards 2020 held through Facebook and Twitter streaming last June 2, 2020. The award for community engagement is accorded to the high school's student organization that has set a stellar example for community service to externally-affiliated groups or entities of the university.
The award which is named after a Spanish Basque Jesuit priest and a former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Rev. Fr. Pedro Arupe, SJ, embodies his ardent desire to propagate the faith by implementing social justice and the preferential option for the poor. Recipients of this recognition create a social impact for reaching out to needy communities or individuals and inspire other student organizations to do the same.
Its citation reads, "This award is given to a club that passionately made significant contributions to the community through their time, donations, and talents. The club serves as a role model for compassion and service to make the world a better place."Ã There are four (4) areas that comprised the criterion for judging club nominees for the community engagement award: leadership development, human development, spiritual development, and community development.
Clubs that are adjudged for the award conduct activities that would enhance the leadership potentials, hone the skills and talents, strengthen the spirituality, and sharpen the civic-mindedness of its members by enabling them to extend active support and participation in community and church-inspired undertakings e.g. initiating charitable works and preserving the environment.
Raymund Paul Mariano. AdDU YCLC club moderator and concurrent SHS Campus Minister for Retreats and Recollections said that the club had been regularly visiting orphanages for 3 years since 2017; the Love the Children Foundation and SOS Children's Village. Club members would drop by here for a few hours every weekend to engage the orphans in bonding activities that would brighten their day and make them feel loved and cared for. YCLC would lead in singing, dancing, reading children's picture-stories, playing games, life-sharing, and distribution of food and goodies.
For the first 2 years, the club moderator leads in the preparations for all orphanage visits and was just assisted by the club members. This past school year, however, the moderator only supervised by advising, observing, and providing logistical support for the visits and the accompanying program. Over-all handling which involved planning, decision-making, control, and resource management was assigned entirely to the students. The purpose of Raymund was to maximize student empowerment in the YCLC club. He wanted his students to grow more highly competent in their leadership skills by thinking and acting on their own.
Essentially, engagement applies not only to how students interact with other groups or organizations. This pertains likewise to moderator-student relationships that are potent to envigorate the high school clubs. Raymund highly encourages the availability always of club moderators for students seeking them for consultations, support, or even just simple friendly conversations that would sharpen rapport. The presence of an elder brother/sister figure is important. Students appreciate very much someone who is always seen, reaches out by personally checking on them, and whom they could look up to as a role model.
Raymund further suggests that moderators must often affirm students to build their self-confidence. Communication lines in social media must be opened for constant dialogues. Exuding a cheerful disposition, having a sense of humor, and engaging in friendly banter are imperatives. Healthy moderator-student engagement creates a positive impact as working relationships become smooth and club objectives are met. Communal spirit thrives. An "achiever-club" inspires other high school organizations to perform at its best, so excellence becomes widespread.
A book donation drive and a t-shirt design activity are in the pipeline for YCLC activities this coming schoolyear '20-21. The club has also been active in the recent past schoolyears with club fairs, the election of officers, team-building, Holy Rosary procession, SHS Club Booth, Praise, and Worship Fellowships, mass sponsorships, and regular weekly club meetings.
Cheers to student empowerment! It is the key of student clubs to effective community engagement in pursuit of social justice. Congratulations to YCLC of Ateneo de Davao Senior High School!
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