Young Minds Academy season 4 launched

YMA is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of RAFI, through the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, aimed at developing young emerging leaders aged 12-30 years old. Young Minds Academy is a scholarship provided by RAFI using experiential education and problem-based learning approaches.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. once again officially launched the 4th season of the Young Minds Academy last September 28, 2009 at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center. This season’s theme is in line with the upcoming 2010 national elections. YMA will be looking at issues and concerns related to governance.

Young Minds Academy is just one of the many inter-related initiatives, activities and efforts of the foundation. Scholars will be exposed to real issues and concerns of our society anchored on the theme for the year. This will enable them to formulate possible solutions through a project proposal and scholars will also undergo a series of competence and character development training.

YMA also desires the participant to become a responsible and pro-active citizen and accountable leader, to become part of a generation of successors ready to serve the public and its interests, and to become world citizens promoting the virtues of peace, pluralism, respect and multi-cultural understanding. Each year, the academy anchors its program and modules to a specific theme that serves as the foundation for the annual objectives, criteria and guidelines, module and program design and strategies. The program is open for application to all qualified young people ages 12-30 who are interested and committed to be equipped and to serve the community in the areas of social development.

The scholarships will be granted on a team basis per category and interested candidates will undergo the process of application and screening before they will be admitted to the Academy and awarded with the scholarship. A covenant will be signed between and among RAFI-YMA, the program sponsors, the scholars composing the qualified team and the team accountability partner. The Academy then admits the qualified scholars/team to the program.

Scholars are categorized based on the following: Generation 3: 12-16 years old, Generation 2: 17-20 years old, and Generation 1: 21-30 years old.

YMA is designed to enhance young people’s awareness of the dynamics and challenges facing our community. Started in October of 2006 and now in its fourth season, YMA has continued its work of developing young emerging leaders to become responsible and accountable leaders and proactive citizens ready to serve the public and its interests. This is done through awareness raising, experiential education, immersion and open discourse.

Is YMA a school?

YMA is NOT really an academic institution. It is a TRAINING PROGRAM where
young people are "taught lessons” about leadership and citizenship. More
of like an "extra-curricular" activity that will enhance your competence,
strengthen your character and afford you the opportunity to serve -
learnings that you may not readily get from your regular school.

What are the activities/ trainings that YMA gives to its scholars?

The activities involve (i) research, understanding, and critical analysis
of societal issues and concerns; (ii) exposure to different situations and
exchange of experiences among participating youth; (iii) project
concept/proposal development (in the form of recommendations on programs,
projects, and policies directed towards civil society, private sector, and
government); (iv) presentation, advocacy, and engaging elected and
appointed government, civil society, and private sector leaders to take
action on their respective concept/ proposals in a Young Minds Conference
and; (v) project awards competition where the chosen concept/ proposal may
be considered for funding for pilot implementation.

Each season, YMA anchors its program on a theme based on the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals. For YMA Season 4, the theme will be on Good
Governance, in line with the upcoming 2010 elections. YMA scholars will be
exposed to situations, issues and concerns related to public governance in
the Philippines, with particular focus on local governance.

How long will the program last?

The screening process will start this year, after the deadline for
applications. The fourth batch of YMA scholars will be declared by
December 2009. Formal training starts in January 2010 until July or August

I am currently working/ studying. Can I still join YMA?

Definitely! Activities are done during weekends and holidays (though NOT
all weekends and holidays of the program period specified) so as not
interfere much with regular school/ work schedules. We will also be giving
the scholars an indicative calendar of the different YMA learning sessions
by December so they can plan and set their schedules ahead. In fact, most
of our previous scholars were either working or studying.

Is the program for free?

There is a minimal counterpart of Php 500 paid in an installment basis
(Php300 during the qualifying exam and Php200 during covenant signing upon
admission to the academy). There is no payment to be given yet upon
initial application and submission of documentary requirements. However, it
would be good to know that the actual program cost is Php 30,000 PER
scholar. The amount covers training and administration cost (resource
speakers, materials, venue, etc), food, transportation and accommodation of
scholars and staff during learning visits and immersions and collaterals
(YMA shirt, cap, bag, jacket, pin). Come to think of it, scholars are
actually asked to pay less than 2% of the program cost.

Participants of YMA are called scholars. Does this mean that YMA will fund
for my high school/ college/ graduate schooling?

NO. YMA participants are called "scholars" because the program is given to
a very select group of young people. This means that applicants will go
through and has to pass a screening process before finally getting in the
Academy. YMA is also given to scholars at a very minimal cost - almost for

What do our alumni have to say?


"Before I joined YMA, I thought it would just be any other organization
that would let you grow and know more about yourself. True, but it gave
a lot more than just that. It hasn't only developed my mind but
definitely, my heart and soul. That …there is more to life than just
building a career. There is a whole world out there for us to take into
consideration, one of those are the lives of others, the situation of our
government, of our country, what we've been doing to our environment, to
our world. Thing is, it made me realize the worth of making even the
slightest possible positive change. It provided me the exposure, that in
turn, gave me the experience that resulted to realizations which broadened
my perspective about the concern that each one of us should give and take
action to benefit the world and the people living in it. It fast tracked
the maturity and the flow of my mind as it established among us foresight
that made us turn and look at a bright future; establishing that future in
our minds -- making it more easy to reach and that later would gradually be
concretized and met for the benefit of a country and a world reborn.".
- Rannee M. Ylaya, 16

“We know that we can’t just thank YMA enough for all the applicable
insights it has imparted and for all the good things it has done. Yet, we
would like to leave a promise that life after YMA will surely be different…
we will forever live our lives in the lights of respect, responsibility,
active citizenship, humility, God-centeredness, trustworthiness, caring
leadership, fairness, and integrity. Guided by these nine pillars, we swear
to do things not only for ourselves but for the community in particular and
for the country in general. We thank you YMA. You are indeed the right
place for the youth.” - Louie Monteroso, 26

“Because of YMA, my views have changed. Before, I joined school-related and
extra-curricular activities because they were required, were needed for
grades, or were chances to get yet another certificate of participation.
But I have realized that grades and certificates do not really matter as
much as I presumed they did. What really matters is how one changes for the
better and what one relishes and experiences learning. On top of all these
things, I appreciated the beauty of our country more, and I can now assert
that every Filipino is worth living for.” - Russell Fernandez, 19

How can I join?

A. Form a team of five (5) members under one of the following categories:

• Generation 3 : 12-16 years old
• Generation 2 : 17-20 years old
• Generation 1 : 21-30 years old

B. Accomplish the following:
Team requirements
1. Completed team application form (YMA Application Form 01)
2. Letter of recommendation and support from any of the following: school,
barangay, office/organization, church, or whatever group the team is
representing indicating their willingness and commitment to monitor the
team and ensure that they abide by the rules and comply with the
requirements of YMA.
3. A Team Accountability Partner who shall serve as a team partner,
ensuring and monitoring the team’s compliance of YMA requirements.

Individual Requirements
1. Completed individual application form (YMA Application Form 02)
2. Completed medical review and release of liability form (YMA Application
Form 03)
3. Certified true copy of birth certificate
4. An essay on “What citizenship means to me” in no more than 300 words
(Arial, 11, double spaced, short bond paper)
5. A fee of Php 500* to be paid on the following installments:
• Php 300 upon taking the qualifying exams (first screening)
• Php 200 upon covenant signing (final admission to the Academy)
(*Actual cost of the program is around Php30,000 per scholar. RAFI will
shoulder Php25,000 while City Savings Bank and UnionBank will shoulder
Php4,500 per scholar).

C. Submit completed application forms and requirements to RAFI for short
listing and screening. You may mail or submit in person at the following

The Executive Director
Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.
35 Lopez Jaena St. Cebu City 6000

Interested applicants may visit the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center or checkout to know the requirement and get/ download the application forms. Deadline of submission will be on October 26, 2009.

For queries, please call Mel Yan at 418-7234 loc 110 or email

What are you waiting for? Apply and join the life changing Young Minds Academy Season 4!!
Young Minds Academy season 4 launched Young Minds Academy season 4 launched Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Sunday, October 11, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. agui. ka.nosebleed pd paminawn ani angkul ui. mura'g mg.labad akung ulo. nyahahaha. XD