SSC and SYL convene Stalwart leaders for leadership development training and sign MOAs to strengthen relationships.

Sulu State College (SSC), in partnership with SACEDA Youth Lead (SYL), convened all stalwart leaders in the institution for a three-day leadership development training on October 20–22, 2023.

A total of 123 student leaders and 15 advisers participated in the said training, coming from student councils of different schools, representatives of various clubs and organizations, and the Central Student Government (CSG).

Held at the SSC gymnasium, the opening program began with the conventional preliminaries. The participating groups were introduced by the host, Ms. Adawia Jamasali, Sihnag Publication adviser, where the participants performed their yell entries.

The welcome message was then delivered by Mr. Saurajan S. Darawi, Dean of Student Affairs, where he shared that it was only his dream to bring the SYL to SSC after attending the National Summer Leadership Camp at Dumaguete City, a leadership training organized by the same firm that provided participants with experiences that were accordingly life-changing. Now that it has happened, it is accordingly a dream come true for Mr. Darawi, who thanked the college president for her support.

A short message from the man of the hour, Mr. Dave G. Saceda himself, chair and founder of SYL, came next. Mr. Saceda impressed everyone with fresh and meaningful insights, to which he said, “Leadership is a skill, but it is a very hard skill.” He also emphasized that with all that is happening in the global community today, “there is a great demand to produce genuine leaders.”

Afterwards, an intermission number was rendered by the Stalwart Performing Arts, who gracefully performed the Pangalay dance before the visitors.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Nelson U. Julhamid, PhD, also gave a message ensuring everyone that his office will always be in full support of activities like this.

The speech challenge from the college president, Prof. Charisma S. Ututalum, went next, to which she challenged the stalwart leaders to: step out of their comfort zone; become fearless visionaries; challenge the indifference; challenge the division; challenge the inaction; and challenge the soloists. She added, “The challenges we face as the global community are immense, but within these challenges lie the opportunities for us to rise as leaders.”

Meanwhile, the main highlight of the opening program was held where the SSC, represented by the college president herself, Prof. Charisma S. Ututalum, CESE, and SYL, represented by its chair and founder, Mr. Saceda, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to strengthen the relationship of the parties for future partnerships and collaborations.

The training proper officially started in the afternoon. Lectures entitled “Cultivating Leadership Through Awareness and Reflection” and “Leadership Essentials” were discussed by Mr. Saceda. Meaningful activities aimed at strengthening the participants’ intrapersonal and interpersonal skills were also conducted.

Day two of the training was held at the SSC Center for Culture and Arts (CCA). The day was filled with learning and wisdom as Mr. Saceda talked about the social graces and etiquettes a leader should observe. Mr. Saceda demonstrated the said topic in a table set-up showing the proper etiquette in a formal meal. He emphasized that etiquette is neither for the rich nor for the poor; it is rather for educated people.

Mr. Saceda also talked about “Team Effectiveness and Leadership,” where a light team-building activity came next. An open forum was also held where Mr. Saceda answered a number of questions from student leaders.

Simultaneously with the session with student leaders, advisers were gathered at Hermes Room, SSC Hostel. Mr. Saceda discussed the different lifestyles of a leader, which are related to personal, sexual, cultural, educational, and professional aspects. The advisers freely shared their different experiences and opinions on the topic.

The last day of the training took place at Tanduh Beach, Parang, Sulu, where the team-building activity happened. Student leaders assembled early in the morning for the trip and were fetched by the municipal buses of Parang. Participants and organizers were warmly accommodated in the said municipality, which the college is thankful for, especially to its mayor, Hon. Alkhadar T. Loong

The program kicked off with a mass Zumba dance. The distribution of shirts was also done, which the participants wore as they went through the various challenges prepared by the organizing team.

The participants were divided into five groups and tasked with going through five challenges that aimed to harness the leadership qualities in them, such as trust, communication, unity, risk-taking, and decision-making, to name a few.

Processing and reflecting came after all the challenges were passed. Participants shared their experiences and the lessons they have learned from overcoming the challenges. Advisers also shared their observations on their respective teams. Mr. Saceda spoke after where he showered leadership wisdom through his faith, which the participants and advisers alike can apply in their leadership stints.

Finally, Mr. Darawi was emotional as he thanked the SYL team, especially Mr. Saceda, for the lessons he shared, which accordingly pierced his heart every time, and for the experiences he let the student leaders indulge in.

The program ended with the yelling competition, where the second of two participating teams won. Participants shared a boodle fight for lunch and spent the afternoon swimming.

This leadership development training is a testament to the commitment of the college to producing globally competent individuals. As student leaders hold great influence, it is significant to empower them to a greater level to also empower their fellow students.