Encouragement and opportunities
by Judianne Jayme
Jelynn Dela Cruz
It has officially been announced in the division so I would like to share on here publicly that I have been approved to reduce my workload to 50 per cent for the next school year. Why would I do such a thing? I’ve been given an opportunity and I’m running with it.
Teaching has provided me with the necessary skills, mindset, and connections that have helped me do what I do in the community. I’m simply allowing more time towards building community projects.
This past year, I have become deeply involved in finding ways to provide opportunities for youth to get involved and connected with the Filipino community – even if it means creating those opportunities myself. I spearheaded a project called Dalagita, which has now celebrated its pilot year. Through this program, our four contestants received wisdom, mentorship and had a chance to share their ideas with strong female leaders in Winnipeg through our monthly Master Classes. This is the next generation learning from the current ones.
I will take some time to personally introduce our four Dalagitas: Alliah Ramirez, Jelynn Dela Cruz, Dianne Gutierrez, Mimi Aiello.
The Dalagitas (l-r): Dianne Gutierrez, Jelynn Dela Cruz, Alliah Ramirez, Mimi Aiello
These Dalagitas are between Grades 10 and 12, and are ready to make their mark. They knew the celebration night would launch them into our community. Their speeches reflected on the fact that, originally meant to be just a public speaking contest, they’ve learned much more than they bargained for – self worth, confidence, mental health and wellness, cultural identity, and most important, building a sisterhood with like-minded individuals. You can meet these young leaders at future events around the community as we continue to get them involved with different organizations and projects. They will all be emceeing the official Flag Raising event hosted by the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba.
Never underestimate the power of giving youth a place, time, and opportunity to share their talents and ideas. A little encouragement plants the seed of empowerment. It has for me, and now I do the same for others.
How are you encouraging the growth of your loved ones? Every little action counts! Make your difference in their lives!
Photos by Geraldine Ong Photography and Events
Judianne Jayme is an educator teaching sixth grade and a division-wide mentor in the Winnipeg School Division.