Photo By Yobhel Valenzuela And Layout By Keith Espina
Photo By Yobhel Valenzuela And Layout By Keith Espina.

ELP 2024: Fostering student leadership through collaborative training

Explore how ELP 2024 empowered student leaders through dynamic leadership training, promoting vibrant campus communities and inclusive environments.

By Nina Delgado | Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Organized by the Student Trainers (STRAINS) under the Student Involvement Unit (SIU), the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) 2024 unfolded across two days of dynamic leadership training. Newly elected officers from different student organizations were invited to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth on Feb. 2 and Feb. 8.


Guided by the event’s theme, "Reinvention: Integrating one’s foundation towards collaborative leadership," participants navigated the complexities of leading their respective organizations.


The start of reinvention

The event began on Feb. 2 at the Ideation Room in The Atrium @ Benilde. Participants were greeted with a Big Hero 6-themed atmosphere, featuring Japanese decorations such as lanterns, and welcomed by a photo booth and a freedom wall upon entry. 


The freedom wall served as a creative outlet, allowing participants to express themselves freely and share their thoughts in a collective space. These interactive elements set a welcoming tone for the day's activities, encouraging engagement and participation among the student leaders gathered to embark on their leadership journey.


To kick start the program, the hosts, STRAINS members Mariel Coloma and Janella Cruz, provided an introduction of what ELP 2024 is about. They explained the different goals they had for this year’s event and the reasons behind it. “This year’s ELP will focus on empowering student leaders to celebrate differences, utilize their uniqueness towards collaborative effort, [and] go above and beyond envisioned plans.” In addition, they also emphasized the need to ensure the proper transfer of roles and responsibilities to future student leaders through mentoring and initiating a positive impact on the community.


Ms. Nicky Templo-Perez, Vice President for Lasallian Mission and Student Life, was called to deliver a talk about her insights on leadership. As an administrator, she shared a vision for a vibrant and active student life, highlighting the importance of creating a happy, meaningful, and safe space on campus. 


To achieve this, Ms. Templo-Perez outlined key strategies. The first is breaking the silo mentality through servant-leadership. "As you take up your mantle of being an officer, I hope you realize [that] it’s no longer about you, but it’s about your organization and your members." The second strategy was encouraging collaboration among Benildeans and different organizations. 


It was then she expressed her dream of creating a project where all organizations in Benilde would collaborate in one singular project or event. Lastly, she highlighted the need for fostering grit to navigate challenges. Stressing the need for unity, she advocated for teamwork to provide mutual support during tough times. 

Additionally, Ms. Templo-Perez discussed the significance of mentorship, emphasizing its role in guiding and supporting personal and professional development. “It’s not about pulling someone else up, but actually helping [them] in the climb.” She concluded her talk by encouraging leaders to be content with their contributions while promoting a collaborative and supportive environment for the entire community.


The participants were then divided into groups and were asked to draw an ideal community that reflects each one of the members’ skills and capabilities that they could offer. This segment allowed attendees to delve deeper into their individual strengths and contributions, cultivating a collective exploration of potential avenues for personal and organizational growth. 


To conclude the first day of the event, participants were tasked with creating a project proposal related to their respective student organizations, to be implemented in Benilde. These proposals would be presented through a video presentation, offering a platform for creativity and innovation. Participants were given until the next session to finalize and submit their videos, which would then be showcased to the audience and the panel of judges.


Project proposal showcase

On the second day, the event transitioned to Zoom. Despite the online set-up, the second day sustained the momentum of empowerment and innovation as students continued their leadership journey virtually.


The second day consisted of video presentations from each group, marking a culmination of collaborative efforts and innovative thinking. Each group was evaluated by a panel of judges comprising Martina Teodoro, ID118 STRAINS member and former president of the Social and Academic Guild for Architecture (SAGA), Mcaine Andrei Carlos, Project Head of #WeCan2022 –which won Outstanding Student Development Project in the 30th Gawad Benildyano–and Ms. Templo-Perez, who provided valuable feedback and insights to further refine and enhance the proposed projects.


ELP 2024 provided newly elected officers from various student organizations with valuable insights and tools to enhance their leadership capabilities. Through interactive sessions and insightful talks, participants gained a deeper understanding of collaborative leadership and discovered effective strategies to cultivate a vibrant and active student community.

Last updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2024