Young Minds Academy Season 5 launches

YMA Season 5 is open to all young people aged 12-20 years old who want to enhance their competence, strengthen their character and practice active citizenship.

How to join?

A. Form a team of five (5) members under one of the following categories:
• Generation A : 17-20 years old
• Generation B : 12-16 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 in 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 address:

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

Deadline for application is on January 10, 2011.

Get your application forms from the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, 35 Lopez Jaena St., Cebu City or download them at

For your queries, please feel free to contact us through Mel Yan at 418-7234 loc 110 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

What is YMA?
The Young Minds Academy (YMA) is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., through the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, with the support of City Savings Bank and UnionBank Philippines.  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 fifth season, YMA has continued its work of developing young emerging leaders aged 12-20 years old 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 PROGRAM where young people are "taught lessons” about leadership and citizenship.  More of like an extra-curricular activity or a "club" 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/idea 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/idea in a Young Minds Conference.
Each season, YMA anchors its program on a theme based on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.  For YMA Season 5, the theme will be Poverty and Social Welfare.  YMA scholars will be exposed to situations, issues and concerns related to poverty and social welfare in the Philippines.

How long will the program last?
The screening process will start this year, after the deadline for applications.  The fifth batch of YMA scholars will be declared by late January of early February 2011.  Formal training starts in February until September or October 2011.

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 during the Covenant Signing 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). Hence, 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 free.

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

Be a YMA Scholar now!

Young Minds Academy Season 5 launches Young Minds Academy Season 5 launches Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Monday, December 06, 2010 Rating: 5

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