YOUNG LEADERS. Members of the leadership track cohort of the 2017 Summer Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) complete their program on July 1. Photo originally posted on Atty Ernesto Neri's Facebook page.  

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The leadership track cohort of the 2017 Summer Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) had come to a close Saturday, July 1 at the Xavier Ateneo American Corner. 

The Cagayan de Oro Youth for Good Governance Program was a successful product of the collaboration among the CDO local government unit, Oro Youth Development Council (OYDC), Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan's Governance and Leadership Institute (XU-GLI), and CDO American Corner.

OYDC was responsible for providing three tracks of engagement for the SPES participants.

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From April 22 to May 16 this year, 120 SPES beneficiaries engaged in community work that focused in youth survey on civic engagement, literacy, and democratic leadership development.

“Congratulations to the leadership track cohort of the Summer Program for the Employment of Students! Continue to prosper in your journey as citizens,” greeted lawyer Ernesto Neri, OYDC councilor and SPES mentor, in an online post.

At the closing ceremony, members of the leadership track cohort of SPES received their certificates of completion, recognizing their community service and participation in different leadership development training sessions. 

A joint undertaking of the LGU and the Department of Labor and Employment, SPES is an annual program that provides students with the opportunity to earn and learn during their free summer months.They are encouraged to use their earnings to support their educational pursuits.

Moving forward, the local government unit of CDO and other institutions involved hope that this batch of SPES participants will pioneer a different kind of summer of service. They envision a more proactive way of engaging students in their learning experience which allowed them to not only earn financially but also learn through the practical experience of serving the community.∎