Scholars’ program pushes empowerment

Scholars’ program pushes empowerment

by UA&P News Desk on August 30, 2012 - 12:18 pm

by Roald Reck N. Lanto, School of Sciences and Engineering

Students inevitably encounter challenges as they set sail in the seas of college life, which is fraught with uncertainties that are part of growing up. Each student has his own way to approach such trials. To journey smoothly through the waves of university life, it is necessary to explore the best solution for each problem.

Last July 25, the Mentoring and Guidance Desk launched the University Scholars’ Program with the theme “Marks of a Scholar”. It is a series of five sessions designed to help students explore such solutions while in college and to provide a venue for scholars to meet each other.

Economics faculty member and former batch valedictorian Mr. Jonathan Alforte, in delivering his talk “Explore to be Empowered,” discussed eight important points that can assist scholars, especially the freshmen, to adjust in their college.

Unique name tags made by participants at the USP kickoff activity.

“Know thyself.” — Mr. Alforte focused on the importance of knowing ourselves since it is through self-knowledge that we can capitalize on our own strengths and improve our weaknesses. He quoted Aristotle saying, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

“Know thyself really well.” — At first this point seems to be just an iteration of the first. However, the previous point is just the start of self-awareness, while this item reminds everyone to have self-mastery. To dwell deeper on the advice, the participants were given art materials and were asked to make a mind map of our own ambitions, values, priorities, ideals, beliefs, and principles. Such map served as basis to create our own coat of arms. By knowing the self really well, a person could recognize his limitations and control his emotions, Mr. Alforte said.

“Learn to accept.” — Each person is unique. It is therefore important for us to accept ourselves wholly and realize that nobody is perfect except God. “If don’t accept (yourself), no one will,” the speaker said.

“Explore.” — To enjoy what life has to offer, it is essential to keep our ideals, principles, and values intact. It is in exploring that we get to learn more about life. Mr. Alforte said. He added that mentoring, meeting people and participating in school activities not only make us step beyond our comfort zones, but opens up our perspectives.

“Explore with an end in mind.” — Many students have different goals in life, but how to achieve them is what we have to learn, since we cause most of the hindrances to fulfilling such goals. Mr. Alforte said that dreams will always be hard to chase, so we should not give them up easily.

“Be a better person every day” — This can be done by acquiring virtues and forming values, he said, giving scholars some practical tips like meeting our mentors. These are among the things which can help us cope with stress and pressure from academic demands.

“Be patient. Persevere.” — Our day to day activities will lead us to learn that we are imperfect. There are many things others can do better but a person’s hard work, perseverance and love for learning can make him acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to carry his work with more perfection, Mr. Alforte said.

“Have faith in yourself, in others and in God.” — This is the last and the most important advice the speaker gave. “No man is an island,” as the old adage goes, so we need God and the others to help us through life with optimism and hope.

The next session of USP: Marks of Scholar will be held on September 5, 2012 from 9:00 – 12:00 pmo at the Telengtan Hall. The Mentoring & Guidance Desk invited Atty. Karen Jimeno to give a talk entitled Excellence: Active Learning & Fostering Academic Skills.

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