Where future leaders find a home
It is easy to find cozy hubs for student leaders near the country’s best universities. In these houses called “study centers,” students settle down in a quiet, little library to finish thier papers, attend a talk on time management or find solace in a private chapel.
Today, we can find several university professors, chief executives, school deans, award-winning doctors and other women with esteemed positions in different industries who used to hang out in these centers put up by Kalinangan Youth Foundation or KALFI since 1983.
“Students go to the study centers in search for excellence in what they do, and the centers complement what they learn in the university,” KALFI President Elenita Sandejas said.
Daniw Study Center in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, which opened in 1990, is near Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines Diliman and Miriam College. Young Cebuano ladies can also spend their afternoons to work or have fun with friends in Banilad Study Center.
Balanghai Study Center, meanwhile, accompanies students of the University of Asia and the Pacific in their academic and personal journey. Those studying along the University Belt and in the University of Santo Tomas may also find a second home in Iraya Study Center.
“While their studies show them the ‘what?’ of things in the world, KALFI tries to incorporate the ‘For what?’, ‘For whom,” and ‘why’ of truths they learn,” Sandejas added.
Tasked with the primary purpose of providing holistic formation of high school, university students and young professional women, KALFI is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year in a family-like celebration on September 29.
In that gathering, KALFI alumnae and friends would reminisce about university days and together, will work to raise P30 million for future scholars and beneficiaries for the organization’s newly launched LEAD program for female college students.
KALFI LEAD, as reflected in its name, is a modular leadership project highlighting motivation and self-mastery, time management, team work, elegance, style and modesty, among others.
The program emphasizes “servant leadership” in students who commit themselves to a 4-year training alongside their university studies in view of living a life of service to society.
One of the KALFI beneficiaries from the University of Asia and the Pacific Joan Ponce de Leon, asserted that servant leadership does not seek for credits but is rather an act of “disappearing” in letting other people take the step forward.
Nelly del Rosario, her aunt, attests to this.
“I was moved to hear directly from my niece how she is receiving so much formation from KALFI that is truly incomparable with other leadership programs,” Del Rosario said.
University of the Philippines student Reina Adriano, another LEAD beneficiary, was among those who spearheaded an outreach program at a local public hospital.
She reflected how one can be a leader through simple acts outside the spotlight.
“Leadership is not in showing off that you are superior or even far above them – in fact we found out that we are alike in so many ways – but knowing that there are a lot of things you can do to help and eventually reach out to others,” Adriano said.
In the program, each student is guided by a trained mentor, a working professional who acts as a life coach.
Anne Mimille Guzman, a young author, talked about how her mentor would take time off from her own work to “waste time” with KALFI LEADers.
“KALFI has not sugarcoated ledership. They taught us various ways on how to look at it: in theory through our classes and observation through our mentors … and most of all, practice,” Guzman said.
The 30th anniversary of KALFI will be held at the Ayala Hall of the Makati Sports Club, Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City on September 29, 2013, 5:00 p.m