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ARC Young Leaders Camp: Inspiring future movers and shakers

“We will make sure that your individual capabilities and individual creativity will be harnessed to the fullest, not by trying to make clones out of you but by trying to enhance what you’re great in.”
Thus, stated Gerry Garcia, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ARC Refreshments Corp. (ARC), the licensed bottler of RC Cola International in the Philippines, in his speech delivered at the start of this year’s ARC Young Leaders Camp.
Indeed, during the three-day camp held at Shercon Resort and Ecology Park in Batangas, the student-participants were made to undergo a series of talks, panel discussions, as well as group activities and workshops designed to help further enhance their skills through transformative learning.
Inspiring the young leaders to be the next movers and shakers were Ana Oposa, Civic Hero finalist and co-founder of Save Philippine Seas (SPS) Movement; Quintin Pastrana, anchor and associate producer at Bloomberg; Michael Angelo Lobrin, best-selling book author and inspirational speaker; and Bryan McCLlelland, socio-ecological entrepreneur and Bambike founder.
The camp, which forms part of ARC’s corporate social responsibility program for underprivileged Filipino youth which aims to develop their leadership values and potential, had also been made more inspiring and encouraging for the delegates this year.
Day One featured a module about ‘Leader in Me’ and involved activities that the participants could readily use to recognize and embrace their own strengths and weaknesses. Day Two saw delegates moving forward — and outside of their comfort zones — so they could fit into a wider community. The last day saw the inspired and now driven participants engaging in a commitment ceremony and coming up with an action plan for a servant leadership project.
This year’s batch of young leaders was carefully selected from a pool of over 300 applicants – the biggest the camp had seen thus far. Unlike in previous events, this year’s camp also had 50 student achievers chosen not only from Metro Manila state universities and public colleges but also from schools located in Marikina, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite.
“Aside from tried and tested motivational speakers, we have also invited a number of graduates from previous camps to join us and share their own success stories,” added Garcia. “I think we have a very good batting average. Many of them were only too happy to share where they are now. I think that’s what we have been trying to improve on year after year. We wanted to track our alumni and we wanted to have a high score in terms of graduates and (them) making it bigger from the time they left the camp.”
Planting seeds of change, inspiring dreamers to move forward and turn their visions into reality is one of the underlying goals of the ARCYLC.
Asked about their learning experience, many of this year’s participants said that it has been a great opportunity for them to realize their true potential. “I learned that leadership is not only about leading someone,” shared delegate John Jersey Garcia from Marikina Polytechnic College. “To be a good leader, you should also listen to your constituents. You need to have courage too because being a leader is not an easy job. It’s a serious business.”
Another delegate, Lyza Acosta of San Beda College, said she considered being part of the camp as a gift that changed her life for the better. “Until now, the electrifying pride which I never expected made me feel like a winner. There were so many things to learn from the camp. The camp changed the way I see myself and now, I know I can become a better leader.”
Both delegates expressed their gratitude to ARC for giving them the opportunity to enhance their leadership capabilities. “I can’t find the proper words to say thank you to ARC for accommodating me even though I had incurred so many delays. I could not ask for more because the moment you chose me, I knew I was about to learn something I will remember for a lifetime,” Lyza beamed.
Photo shows the student-participants to the 6th ARC Young Leaders Camp during the commitment-setting part of the workshop.

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