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27 YES Scholars of Region 6 graduate from 2-year ladderized program

27 YES Scholars of Region 6 graduate from 2-year ladderized program

27 young and promising agripreneurs in Region 6 have just graduated at the recently concluded Youth Empowerment Through a Sustainable (YES) Program for the 4-H Clubs of the Philippines.

The two-year ladderized training program was conceptualized by the Agricultural Training Institute in partnership with its Private Extension Service Provider(PESP), the Foundation for People Development.

“This aims to develop the young farmers to become "agripreneurs" where the graduates are expected to create jobs for themselves rather than seek employment.” ATI 4-H Club Focal Person Solita Ramirez explains.

As per Ms. Ramirez, the program has a unique curriculum. For every trimester, they are given a month’s worth of lectures and three months of practicum (on-the-job-training) to various learning sites and model farms. They are also equipped with National Competency Certificates (NC II) in Agricultural Crops and Animal Production with TESDA.

ATI RTC 6 Former Center Director Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, who was invited as keynote speaker, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to extend the knowledge as they venture into agripreneurship.

“I am glad that you are going into agriculture business.” Dr. Villorente began. “People perceive farming as a lowly job but truth be told, the farm needs the most brilliant people. They act as botanists, entomologists, zoologists, and, meteorologists just to ensure good harvest.” Villorente emphasized.

Aklan State University President Danilo Abayon, who likewise gave words of inspiration, further stressed the importance of competency and the trend in career pathing where graduates continue to gain employable skills.

“Welcome in your heart and mind that this is the trend of the time. Competency is important. Continue to be life-long learners.” Abayon said.

Also present during the ceremonies to give full moral support were Center Director Dr. Eden DLR. Bautista along with MFI Foundation Business Unit Head for Agri Entrepreneurship Ms. Bleshilda G. Lampano, MFI Foundation Manager for Diploma Program Mr. Edmund L. Dy Guaso, ATI Central Office Career Development and Management Chief Edena Sayson, and farmer cooperators who took in the scholars during the OJT.

Of the 27 graduates, three acquired the academic excellence award with Viel Marie Abelo of Negros Occidental bagging top place, Iloilo’s Marlo Cabanera at second, and Antique’s Jose Imbang III at third place. Aklan’s Jonel Roselo, on the other hand, got the Best in On-the-Job-Training Award.

In Abelo’s valedictory address, she shared her experiences with her fellow scholars under the two-year program. She also thanked the sponsors, teachers, and farm managers who have inspired them to move forward during their journey.

“We were trained to enhance our skills in different fields. We learned to be the best we can be. We are proud to be YES Scholars.” Abelo stated. “We are seeds that have been sown and we are now ready to face the world. We are now ready to spread the gift that has been bestowed to us.” She added.

The graduation program was held on 15 September 2016, Thursday, at the ASU Review Center, Banga, Aklan. //JGTamayo/ISS