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Calling all Cebu High School and College Students for a Chance of a Lifetime!

Can you please help us invite young leaders ages 12-20 years  to join the 9th Season of the Young Minds Academy?

What is Young Minds Academy? Young Minds Academy (YMA) is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. – Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, which aims to develop the youth to become responsible and accountable leaders and pro-active citizens who are ready to serve the public and its interests.

This is done through experiential learning sessions, community visits, immersions, project development, and project implementation anchored on the theme Urban Development with emphasis on Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Response.


How to join?
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

Accomplish the following:

Team requirements
Completed team application form (YMA Application Form 01)Letter of recommendation and suppo…

Giving Back To The Country

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The Young Minds Academy is a citizenship and leadership development program that is designed to develop young emerging leaders to become responsible citizens and accountable, pro-active leaders ready to serve the public and its interest.

YMA is an exciting opportunity by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, funded by the UnionBank of the Philippines,


Since its inception in 2006, YMA has trained almost 700 Cebuano youth leaders under its 3Cs framework of building Competence, strengthening Character, and promoting active Citizenship. This is done through raising awareness, experiential education, community immersion and open discourse.

The YMA scholars’ outputs, insights and realizations indicated how they were inspired to become agents of change, elevating the lives of others.
In this connection, we would like to invite your 12-20 years old youth friends/ students/ members/ children/ colleagues  to join YMA Season 8.

We will be accepting applica…

Of Becoming Your Own Hero: A RAFI Alumni Story

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Here is an inspiring story from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. tells that you could be a hero by just giving a little of your time, and that time you give someone today is the treasure they will forever be grateful for...

Helping fellow youth
Reviewing her school lessons and doing assignments were the usual routine of Joni Joy Dumasig, 19, the moment she arrives at home from school. But now, this business major student dedicates some of her time to community work.

Dumasig is one of the young scholars of Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5 who have given up some of their time for hobbies and hanging out with friends to do more rewarding work.

These scholars under the youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) committed to carry out community-based projects to address poverty and social welfare, the theme of YMA Season 5. By teams, they were assigned to four local government units and partnered with six civil society groups, which act…

Those Little Hands for Huge Community Development

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Real life challenges and problems take place outside the four corners of the classroom.
Eighty one high school and college students who are scholars of the sixth season of the Young Minds Academy (YMA) face some of them when they embarked on a three-day immersion last month in participating local government units (LGUs) in Metro Cebu to assess the liveability and sustainability of the areas last month.
For Gail Villacorta, 17, a college student of Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U), her immersion in Cordova exposed her to the challenges of unpredictable weather and to an environment entirely different to what she is regularly used to.
“There were times that we were hours under the heat of the sun. We were also afraid to walk along the unfamiliar streets of the area. There were many things running on our minds that time. There were instances that we were hesitant to approach residents. It was really a challenge for us to deal with the weather and to adapt to a new environmen…

Cebu youth teams present their ideas for healthier communities through Unilab Ideas Positive

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Six youth teams from Cebu pitched their positive ideas for a healthy change in communities in this year’s national run of Unilab Ideas Positive-- the only social marketing congress and competition for college students in the country today. 



Cebu had the most number of youth delegate teams that advanced to the program’s live screening phase—they are now up against 22 other groups from Metro Manila, North & South Luzon and Mindanao for a chance to win P100, 000 seed money for them to jumpstart their projects.

Aside from the funding, the chosen teams will also be flown to Manila this June, with free hotel accommodation, meals and transportation, to attend a 3-day social marketing boot camp.

We believe in the collective power of the youth to be catalysts of positive change in our communities that is why Unilab Ideas Positive came into fruition. The growing number of entries every year prompted us to go nationwide this 2012 and we are immensely humbled by the support our Cebuano youth …

RAFI is now accepting applications for YMA season 6

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Following the launching of the sixth season of Young Minds Academy (YMA) last Jan. 21, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) is now accepting applications for the program.

YMA is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of RAFI aimed at developing young people 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, among others. 
It is open to young people aged 12 to 20 years old.

Because of my very wonderful 10 months, I designed a poster showcasing how awesome it is to be a YMAer.



YMA was launched in October 2006 and already ran for five seasons, including a special summer edition held in 2009 for Region 8.

“Through this program, I have discovered what kind of leader I want to be. The change has started in me already. Now it’s my time to be a role model to other…

RAFI’s YMA Nation-Building Scholars Offer Solutions, Promote Advocacy Against Poverty

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Instead of going to malls or playing online games, a group of teens and young adults chose to spend their weekends in the community to help poor Cebuanos. They also used Facebook and other social media networks, went to schools to campaign and raised funds to promote the causes of local groups working on poverty alleviation.

These are scholars of the Young Minds Academy (YMA), a leadership and citizenship development program of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

Iluvfarmers Final Report2
Here is our iluvfarmers Accomplishment Report Presentation Slide

The scholars presented their community-based projects in the Best of Young Minds Conference last Oct. 28 at Casino Español, Cebu City.



An awards and graduation ceremony followed the conference to culminate the eight-month YMA program.



Championing Real Heroes Online

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The highest incidence of poverty occurs in the rural areas and we believe that the very people who are feeding us, the farmers who work tirelessly to provide us with food, don't have to remain poor. 

We, Team CPMPC of Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5, has been tasked to do a wide range of Social Marketing efforts for a poverty alleviation program of the Municipality of Consolacion. We are campaigning to support Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan, a project which aims to train farmers about modern fruit and vegetable production. 

Basically, farmer beneficiaries from all over go the farm demo site to be trained through the education capabilities of Harbest Agribusiness Inc. The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan project currently receives mobilization funding from SM Foundation Inc. for the project operating costs which includes training and transportation allowance.

We aimed for great social impact and awareness by tapping on the social media applications that most people are using today. Our elaborate S…

My Amazing YMA Season 5 Experience in a nutshell

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Before I got into Young Minds Academy (YMA), I was the type of person who doesn't even care about my community.I always thought that the concern I have for my country was enough and that all the hardships of growing up poor should suffice to my passivity at present.

But when I was introduced to the program by an alumnus,I felt so deeply touched by the fact that I can actually do much for others without the need of being in power.

I was given the chance to be an architect of change as we try to understand how projects are developed to alleviate the communities we are tasked to serve.

RAFI collaborates with 10 groups for youth development

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The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) inked a partnership agreement with six civil society organizations and four local government unitsfor the project development phase of the Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5, RAFI’s youth leadership and citizenship development program.


The agreement was signed together with the YMA scholars last Aug. 2 at the Bryant George Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of RAFI.

Read on to know 7 Facebook Pages Worth Liking...

Scholars Upscale Social Marketing To Promote Hero Farmers

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Can you imagine life without farmers? A team of scholars from the Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5 leadership program can’t. They harnessed the power of marketing strategies mostly through the new media to promote a farmer empowerment project in Consolacion, Cebu. Because of the on-going training that the farmers are undergoing, they will soon yield better and abundant harvests in their respective farms all over Cebu.



Immersion Diaries of Jaysee in Consolacion

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As part of our last quarter for the YMA program, we are in the data gathering stages for our project development. Destiny had it that my team, Gen A Team 4 Team CPMPC, will be immersed for a few days in Brgy. Pulpogan, Consolacion, Cebu.
It was a bright sunny Saturday of July 9, 2011 when we first stepped on our own for a YMA module. Scared, doubts and frustrations clouded our minds but the fact that we are going to stay there until July 11 means we have to straighten up and look focused head on. I was sort of dying by that time because I had just worked 16 hours straight to make up for my absence on Monday.



I feel blessed that the Brgy. Captain and his people still managed to accommodate us despite the limited time that they were informed on and the purpose of our being there had not been that clear to them but as YMA scholars we made the initiative to reach out to the people and do our job and just do it well.



My first impression of the community is that it looks very typical to an…

My Kool Adventure Camp Experience

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Being a scholar of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)'s Young Minds Academy Program, I took part in a one-of-a- kind character building leadership training seminar dubbed as Kool Adventure Camp (KAC) which was conducted at the Boys Scout Camp in Lahug, Cebu City on the great day of March 27, 2011.

There was so much to learn about the Kool Adventure Camp and most of it was about discovering ourselves and our peers. "Handa na ba kayo?" I will not be narrating the specific activities that we've had so that you will be spared to relish the experience itself.







I was able to impart to everyone how I envision myself to be through my camp name, “Tubod” which symbolizes how I want to be a reminder that God should be the living water in each of our hearts.




I was also able to experience how it feels to be out of our comfort zone but not too far to be at panic. With no time to be comfortable and full, we lived a lifestyle that was far from what most of us grew up in.

Cordova Youth Mapping, Albert Schweitzer Foundation, FORGE Rescue Project | YMA Thematic Sessions Part 4

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The fourth and the last day of the YMA Thematic Sessions (Day One, Day Two, Day Three) made us trek to our respective barangay assignments in Cordova and split ourselves further as to who will do thefocus group discussion (FGD) in the barangay hall, the transect walk who will plot assets of the community and the survey who will ask residents. 

The purpose of all this mapping activities is to determine what their assets are,what the threats to these assets are and what opportunities they can seem to benefit from in the near future. This is also done in preparation for our ultimate community immersion in the coming weeks. 



Busay, Boodle Fight, SOS Village, Cordova Resort | Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 3

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Community Visit I (Day One and Day Two) gave us the heads up about the adverse effects of poverty in the rural parts of Cebu and how the community succeeds in addressing them.Community Visit II module which happened last June 11- 12, 2011 transported us to the beautiful uplands where poverty is of the highest level but surprisingly is not that felt because of how simple they live their mundane existence.





After a long trip from the city, we reached the scenic mountain barangay of Busay which became a perfect backdrop to the great talks thereafter. First stop was in Crossroads, a retreat farm which helps youth cope up with different crisis in their life or if they are about to make a big decision. They also grow local produce naturally which they are trying to advocate among upland vegetable farmers since they are so dependent on pesticides which is slowly poisoning the urban people who consume them. The retreat farm is being managed by the Work of the Lord Who CaresFoundation who also …

Canduman, Tisa, Brgy. Luz and Inayawan | Best and Worst Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 2

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Read Day One here: YMA Thematic Session Day 1


On our second day, the RAFI community remodeling for the urban poor site in Canduman gave us a very positive vibe that change could really happen in the most marvelous of ways when people actually start to care for their community without thinking of getting something from it. How RAFI taught them to unite, impose discipline and engage in life enriching activities such as livelihood programs perfected to the infrastructures they were implementing. We also got the chance to hear the testimonials of the people living in the site and how their lives has changed for good.



Lorega, Mambaling, Missionaries of the Poor | Best and Worst Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 1

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The Thematic Sessions were one of the greatest experiences we had. We were exposed to a lot of societies and gained valuable insights along the way and Cebu City communities became our classroom once again as Young Minds Academy teaches us more aboutcommunity organizing, realities that face our unfortunate brothers and sisters, and amazing projects that alleviate living conditions and mindset along the way. 

Our first Thematic Session happened last June 4-5, 2011 andit only proved that no sun too excruciating, no mountain too high, no place too horrid, no barangay too dangerous for the scholars of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) to learn more and immerse as we become the future leaders of the country in our own ways.

Poverty as the UN defines it is a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, po…

Living on a dime for a day | YMA Social Discovery Walk

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Yours truly has been undergoing a lot of experiential training all over Cebu and attending sessions in the Plenary Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) as part of my scholarship program under the Young Minds Academy (YMA).It is a one-of-a-kind leadership training program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI). And what better way to teach us about nation-building and community development than through actually letting us go through impoverished living.

That is why RAFI went all and beyond to organize a new module that encompassed a wide venue and this time it’s not in a controlled environment such as a university, amphitheater, campsite or a resort as we used to but in the city of Cebu itself. Around 90 fellow scholars all toting our netbags as our only possession for the urban backpacking, we trekked the city in search for clue cards, tasks and a whole lotta exploration, the Dora way.

Held last 2nd – 3rd of May 2011, we all had given poverty a new meanin…

What Leadership Should Be All About | S-Leadership: The Potter’s Way Part 1

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This is the first part of series regarding S-Leadership: The Potter’s Way Seminar.

As a scholar of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s Young Minds Academy, my team and I underwent a great seminar dubbed as “S Leadership: The Potter’s Way.” The moment I first heard it during the announcement of our list of activities, I was curious to my nails as to how would pottery play a big role in all of this.And so we all gathered at the Bryant George Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center to meet who could be one of the best motivational speakers in the country.

Meet Ms. Selene Yu, a small lady with the biggest insights to date. Trust me. The two day seminar that we had last March 19 to 20 under her didn’t have any dead air and every line that she spoke is very quotable and what was interesting was that she never got tired talking and kept amused all day. Her excellence in communication skills also added to the upscale our experience as well. 

Her professional achievements are just…

Jaysee makes it to the YMA with a great team

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Yours truly, Jaysee Blabs, along with four other smart and genuinely good students officially signed up for leadership training program. We made it in Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)’s Young Minds Academy last February 12, 2011. 

My mother was even there at the Covenant Signing and Orientation at the Eduardo Aboitiz Studies Center as the team’s partner. We inked our covenant to signify our willingness to graduate from the 8-month YMA Program which includes various activities like adventure camps and expeditions, learning visits and youth exchanges, capability building, immersion, research and concept development, and conferences. 




Mr. Bobby Aboitiz, the president of RAFI gave a very inspiring speech of how we should all paddle towards the same goal. YMA Alumni also gave insightful testimonials on their bittersweet experiences. Sir Bobby's daughter and representatives from our program partners, Unionbank of the Philippines and City Savings Bank were also there to grace the mome…