QCU’s Dr. Atienza joins as a plenary panelist during the USAID’s Higher Education Learning Summit 2023

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Quezon City University took part in the USAID Opportunity 2.0 Program Higher Education Learning Summit with the theme “Higher Education Institutions: Partners in Out-of-School Youth Development” held on May 30-31, 2023 at Novotel, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Dr. Theresita V. Atienza, QCU President, served as a panelist in the plenary discussion on the role of higher education institutions in out-of-school youth development in the Philippines. The plenary panel also included Dr. Francisco Villanueva, Chairperson of the Angeles City Alliance for Youth Development and President of City College of Angeles; Dr. Jaime Jalon, President of the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology; Dr. Maria Teresa Fajardo, Director – Extension and Community Relations Division at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines; and Dr. Trixie Sison, Assistant to the President, Miriam College, who served as panel moderator. 

During the panel discussion, Dr. Atienza highlighted QCU’s successful implementation of its USAID-EDC-funded Executive Courses for Barangay Leaders on Systems Delivery Support for the OSYs or the QCU BLeSDS for the OSY project. Dr. Atienza also stated that the six months leadership course, which started in November 2022 and ended in May 2023, emphasized the importance of bridging leadership and the application of the positive youth development framework in crafting and implementing worthwhile projects for the OSYs at the barangay level. She also mentioned the need for HEIs to open up more opportunities for the OSYs and help them become successful. 

“We have to strengthen the network and have a clear pathway for higher education. It is very difficult for them [OSYs] to get higher education,” Dr. Atienza said.

“We realized two things: First, mentoring. We have to identify angel mentors for our OSYs; we cannot just let them go. There has to be someone who has to call them from time to time.  We have to provide psycho-social assistance to them. Second, it is important to gain awareness for the OSYs,” Dr. Atienza added.

QC Vice Mayor Gian Sotto graced the event on the first day on behalf of Mayor Joy Belmonte, while Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), personally gave a message of support emphasizing the important role HEIs play in achieving second-chance opportunities for the Filipino OSYs. 

The event gathered more than 200 delegates from 15 cities in the Philippines to provide a spotlight on the role of colleges, universities, and other academic institutions in helping resolve challenges on OSY advancement together with their respective Youth Development Alliances (YDAs). The two-day summit also showcased the work done by around 70 Philippine HEI partners of the USAID Opportunity 2.0 Program that produced OSY-focused research, performed training activities for OSY-serving leaders andteachers, extended their own resources to OSYs, and designed OSY-responsive innovations.

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