Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards applications open for COVID-19 response projects

Last July 24, University students attended an online orientation via Zoom to learn about the objectives and application process for this year’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards. The 18th iteration of the competition spotlights the continued threats and uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to recognize youth organizations carrying out bayanihan projects focused on pandemic response efforts.  

More than awards

In his opening remarks, Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment (SLIFE) Coordinator John Lingatong described TAYO 18 as more than simply a competition, but an opportunity to share “stories of hope” and “youth volunteerism” amid the current crisis.

University Student Government Vice President for External Affairs Ronin Leviste encouraged Lasallians to participate and spur change in “little ways”. “I pray for the successes of everyone who will apply,” he expressed.

For Lingatong, the competition is an opportunity for Lasallian core values to shine, recalling how La Salle Debate Society earned the award in 2012 for hosting the 2012 World Universities Debating Championship.

Situational adjustments

The application process, according to TAYO Awards Executive Director Patricia Matute, can be completed online, while a downloadable form is also available for accomplishing offline in consideration of connectivity issues.

Matute added that instead of being open to all kinds of project themes, this year’s competition will be “exclusive” to groups with quarantine or pandemic response programs. “We’re looking for projects that have been done since April [this year] until now, so it may be an ongoing project addressed to a pandemic response,” she explained.

The screening process will be led by experts from different sectors, selected to match the goals and orientations of the project entries. Meanwhile, representatives from youth and non-government organizations will also be involved in evaluating submissions during the national finals.

Another change to be expected, meanwhile, is an earlier conclusion of the competition stage for the TAYO 18 Awards. Matute shared that the winners will be announced by November instead of next year to guarantee that cash grants can be given to support the continuation of successful pandemic and quarantine response projects.

“[We realized that] not all projects are sustainable at this time because [of] sudden responses natin sa pandemic,” she conveyed.

Project screening for Lasallians

Any group with up to five members can join the TAYO 18 Awards and its goal of finding and creating innovative projects. Lasallians, too, can be certified as eligible to join TAYO 18 regardless of their affiliation to any of the University’s accredited organizations.

CJ Castro, project manager for the DLSU division of TAYO 18, shared that aspiring Lasallian participants will first undergo an internal screening process to ensure that submitted projects would “have credibility”. Groups would be screened by the Office of the Vice President for External Affairs, SLIFE, and members of the TAYO Awards foundation through the process. Afterward, workshops will be held with previous winners of the TAYO Awards serving as speakers.

The 18th TAYO Awards application period officially began last July 5 and will run until August 18. Meanwhile, the deadline for the submission of requirements for internal DLSU screenings will be on July 30. More information about the application process can be found on the official TAYO Facebook page.

John Robert Lee

By John Robert Lee

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