Two Xavier Ateneans were chosen to participate in this year's Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellowship programs from October 10 to November 17 in the United States of America.

Xyla Mercedita “Tat” Gualberto. Contributed photo.

Xyla Mercedita “Tat” Gualberto, program officer at the XU - Southeast Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN), is one of the two professional fellows for the YSEALI environmental sustainability cohort from the Philippines.

Gualberto previously worked as a coordinator for the Xavier Ateneo-led resettlement village for TS Sendong (Washi) survivors, Xavier Ecoville, located at Barangay Lumbia in the uptown portion of Cagayan de Oro City. 

In her current post at XU-SEARSOLIN, she manages various training programs in the thematic areas of rural development, natural resources management, indigenous peoples' welfare, local governance, and leadership.

Gualberto will be hosted by Berlin, Worcester County in Maryland, under the office of the town administrator to work on water management issues. 

Environmental sustainability cohort fellows are expected to learn practical skills focusing on local governments’ role and responsibility on ecological challenges in their communities, specifically on climate change, sustainable energy, environmental justice engagement, and promoting transparency. The program also aims to foster fellows’ interaction with leaders of federal, state, and local organizations.

Victoria Melissa “Becky” Cortejos Pulido. Contributed photo.

Victoria Melissa “Becky” Cortejos Pulido, who works as program officer of Xavier Ateneo’s Service Learning Program (SLP) under the Social Development cluster of the university, was chosen as one of the four professional fellows for the legislative processes and governance cohort from the Philippines. 

As an SLP program officer, Pulido coordinates the service learning engagements of XU students with partner communities, organizations, and local government units.

She previously worked as program officer of the Volunteer Formation Program under the Kristohanong Katilingban sa Pagpakabana - Social Involvement Office (KKP-SIO).

Pulido will be hosted in Tallahassee City in Leon County, Florida under the governor’s office to work on community engagement partnerships of the local government with higher educational institutions and state universities.

Legislative processes and governance cohort fellows are expected to learn practical skills focusing on the local government's’ role and responsibility in responding to sustainable development challenges in their communities through partnership and collaboration with various development key players.

YSEALI Professional Fellowship programs are funded by US Department of State implemented by International City/County Management Association and League of Cities of the Philippines.∎