Last March 11, the Lasallian Excellence Awards (LEA) was formally launched at The Verdure, fourth floor of Henry Sy Sr. Hall. Spearheaded by the Council of Student Organizations (CSO), the event outlined the aims of the annual program and the featured awardees from previous years.
The annual program kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by University Chancellor Br. Bernie Oca FSC, Dean of Student Affairs Nelca Villarin, Associate Dean of Student Affairs Elaine Aranda, Council of Student Organizations (CSO) Chairperson Jashia Chua, Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) Director Neil Penullar, and Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment Director Patrick Lo.
In his opening address, Oca related the program’s theme eLEAments to the lives of student leaders and highlighted their role in fulfilling the Lasallian Mission. “Let us all strive to be catalysts and contributors in fulfilling God’s mission,” he emphasized.
The Brothers of Charity, a foundation dedicated to the care of children with special needs and a two-time beneficiary of LEA, graced the event with performances. Brothers of Charity Ortho-Pedagogical Institute Principal Marina Magbago outlined important attributes of leaders in a short presentation, stressing, “The success of the team doesn’t lie in the hands of the leaders only, kasama po ang miyembro. The members and the leaders must work hand in hand.”
(The success of the team doesn’t lie in the hands of the leaders only, but in its members as well. The members and the leaders must work hand in hand.)
From past winners
Previous LEA awardees also delivered messages to the audience. Rachelle Lao, recipient of the Outstanding President award in 2018, shared the rewarding feeling of being a student leader. “Despite the fact that being a student leader requires a lot of time and effort, it is fulfilling to see your ideas come to life,” she narrated.
Jess Marie Ng, who placed third in LEA 2018’s The Outstanding Coeds, The Outstanding Young Man award, stressed that one of the essential qualities of a leader is the willingness to learn and their ability to admit that they are still a “work in progress”.
Dr. Shirley Palisoc, a professor from the Physics Department who placed first as Outstanding Professor in the previous year, gave her well-wishes and her “utmost respect and admiration” for student leaders through a prepared video message.
Regina Motar, Project Head of LEA 2019, elaborated on the activities to be held throughout the duration of the program, which includes games, seminars, and a donation drive for the Brothers of Charity.
Project Head Jewel Ramilo, meanwhile, shed light on the three categories of awards: the Students’ Search for Outstanding Teachers award dedicated to recognizing outstanding faculty members; The Outstanding Coeds, The Outstanding Young Men award which honors graduating Lasallians who uphold Lasallian excellence, ideals, and values; and the Harvest of Winners award which recognizes select organizations under CSO or its members who showcase excellence in their efforts.
Ramilo added that the awarding process will consist of an application phase, followed by a paper screening and an interview.
Chua closed the ceremony by invoking student leaders to give their best efforts. “We are all Lasallian student leaders and achievers. We are passionate like fire, flexible like water, rational [like] air, and nurturing like the earth,” she concluded.