The members of the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc. after the awarding of the YLEA medals to the 28 students. (Photo courtesy of Peacock Jaycees)
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Twenty-eight youth leaders from public and private schools in Palawan received the Youth Leadership Excellence Award (YLEA) medals from the JCI Philippines and the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc. (Peacock Jaycees) to inspire them towards greater achievements in life.

The JCI Philippines flagship project YLEA is co-sponsored and co-presented by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PP-PEPP), one of the leading pawnshop and money remittance chains in the Philippines.

In a speech read by Joan So, corporate social responsibility officer of the pawnshop chain, executive vice president and chief operating officer Karlo Castro, said the award is aimed at inspiring students to do their best not only in academics but also in student community leadership.

“Palawan Pawnshop is one with JCI Philippines in providing an atmosphere of inspiration to our students through the YLEA,” he said.

He said their business has been supporting YLEA for two years now to give back to the community by focusing on the importance of education to the youth.

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“The company has been supporting this cause for two years now. We continue to do so because we have always been an advocate of the importance of education. In fact, education is one of our focuses in our mission to give back to the community through our corporate social responsibility (CSR),” he added.

He also challenged the youth awardees to do the best of their ability to make the change and make the city and nation a better place for young people to live in.

“Leadership skills play a crucial role in this. And you, our awardees, were chosen by your respective schools because you best exemplified this,” he added.

“Now that you have been recognized for it, what will you do? My challenge to you is to use your excellent skills to make our city, our nation and our world a better place. You may be young, but the great thing about leadership is that you have the opportunity to practice it every single day, regardless of your age, wherever you are, in your school, at home, and everything in between,” Castro said.

This year, Palawan Pawnshop has 110 scholars who graduated — 76 from Palawan State University (PSU) and 34 from Western Philippines University (WPU).

They also have 206 more scholars who are in school and a total of 303 graduates since they started the Palawan Pawnshop Scholarship Program (PPSP) in 1998.

Meanwhile, Peacock Jaycees president Maria Claribelle “Mabelle” Castro said the YLEA is part of the JCI Week weeklong celebration which started on Sunday, April 8.

“The YLEA is given to deserving graduating elementary and high school students from both private and public schools. The goal of the JCI Philippines is to recognize their leadership qualities and academic achievements with hopes that they will inspire other young people their age to also do their best,” she said.

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