Thursday, March 2, 2017

Toff asks educators to equip and empower the youth

 DAGUPAN CITY—Pangasinan fourth district Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia has challenged student Affairs and Services professionals to equip and empower students, while vowing to continue supporting advocacies that empower the youth.
AMENDMENT. Pangasinan Fourth District Congressman Christopher “Toff” de Venecia (3rd from left) poses with his cousin Manila Fourth District Congressman Edward Maceda (extreme right) and political personalities in Dagupan City after De Venecia and Maceda graced the consultation of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments of the House of Representatives held at Le Duc Hotel  in Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA 
 In his keynote speech during the 2017 Regional Conference on Student Affairs and Services (SAS) on February 24 in San Fernando City, La Union, De Venecia said that, being one of the youngest legislators in this Congress, he has become very passionate about the full development of the youth.
 He said higher education, specifically, is one of the most crucial stages of a student’s journey. 
“The individual transitions that one goes through during college may make or break the bright future awaiting each one of them,” he said.
 He emphasized that education is not merely academic.
 "That is why the office of SAS was designed - to enable and empower students to focus more intensely on their studies and their personal growth and maturation, both cognitively and emotionally," De Venecia said.
 He shared some important principles and foundations of SAS, namely empowerment and personalized involvement. 
He said that outside the four walls of their classrooms, students have a lot of potentials waiting to be explored.
 "They just need the opportunities that could assist them financially as well as opportunities that could expose them more to the line of work they are interested in," he explained.
 He said these also include opportunities that would allow them to serve other people – and give back to the community and opportunities that could produce a more “whole”, a more “complete” student, ready and able to be part of the workforce.
 “You empower them. You equip them. You “complete” them,” he told the SAS professionals. He cited a UNESCO report that Student Affairs and Services has been proven to produce a high quality and well-rounded learning experience.
 “It gives better opportunities and access to higher education regardless of ability and background. It has also proven to increase graduation rates, enhance career and employment prospects and lifelong learning interests,” De Venecia said. 
The solon also pointed out that everyday, SAS professionals come face to face with a diverse spectrum of students. He said they have to interact on a one-on-one basis and share their advice on different issues – values, career decision, leadership, etc.
 “And you know what – significant change usually starts on a personal level and Student Affairs and Services staff members are ideally placed to positively influence these changes,” he said. “When something is personalized – it makes us feel important,”he emphasized. Another word De Venecia has associated as pillar of SAS is “involvement”. 
He said involvement would also mean to include other groups concerned. He said their services and programs must be student-centered.
 “This is for the students, by the students. Involve them. They should be treated as partners and stakeholders in their education,” he said. Meanwhile, De Venecia told the participants that he joined in pushing the Youth Empowerment Act last week.--#

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