Lao and Valdez set firsts in government and the academe
Two AYLC alumni make news by being the first in their respective fields. 22-year-old Sittie Norhanie “Tickee” Lao, AYLC 2009, is youngest legislator to be appointed in the history of the Muslim region, while Josemari Lorenzo “Jolo” Valdez, AYLC 2012, is the first Filipino student delegate to participate in the prestigious Roger Hatchuel Academy in Cannes, France.
Lao is appointed as youngest legislator of ARMM
One of the 27 who was sworn into office by President Benigno Aquino III last May 8, as officers-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Legislative Assembly, Lao’s advocacy and track record on youth development was what urged local civil society organizations to endorse her to represent the second district of Lanao del Sur. From hundreds of applications for the post, Lao was chosen to lead her district of 22 municipalities.
Lao says that her passion for service begun during her college years and was strengthened after her leadership experience with AYLC. “I owe so much to AYLC. It taught me the importance of holding onto my values and convictions. I believe I would not have been as brave to challenge status quo if I had not been a part of AYLC. It is also because of my batch mates in AYLC that I also continue to be inspired of doing great things despite the many challenges.”, Lao said.
“Politics is a difficult and tricky game and it becomes dangerous when one is not guided by values and principles. It is during AYLC that I learned to look at things from a greater perspective which tremendously helped me in effectively forwarding good causes.”, Lao said.
Valdez is first Filipino to attend prestigious international workshop
Jolo Valdez, a 5th year Integrated Marketing Communications student at the University of Asia and the Pacific, made it to the Roger Hatchuel Academy in Cannes, France on June 17 to 23, 2012. Valdez is the first ever Filipino student-delegate to attend the esteemed training course which is composed of lectures and workshops by global leaders in the advertising, marketing and communications industry.
One of only 35 students from all over the world who get the opportunity to be part of the Academy, Valdez raised some funds for his Europe trip by selling cookies from Anihan, a technical school for girls which is a corporate initiative of Opus Dei. Proceeds of the sales also helped support the girls’ education.
Valdez excels not just academically, but also in sports and leadership. He was former President of the UA&P Student Executive Board and the team captain of the basketball team. Also a scholar, he founded the Catalyst Organization, a pro-poor, pro-values organization.