Education is one of the most effective developmental programs for poverty reduction. According to the study of Ducanes and Tan (2014), poverty incidence drops to 2.4% in a household with at least one college graduate. Thus, getting a college degree is vital to nation-building with a 98% poverty reduction indicator in the Philippines.
Through Caritas Manila, the social services and development ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila, the Church extends its help to poor but deserving youth through its flagship program, Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP). Through the benevolence of Caritas Manila’s partners and benefactors, over 10,000 youth have graduated through YSLEP.
616 Youth Servant Leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will graduate for AY 2015-2016, of which 158 will be recognized for their academic and leadership excellence.
One consistent YSLEP awardee and now a graduating Magna Cum Laude is Ma. Leah Agnes Gagaoin from College of the Holy Spirit. As an active member of her parish, National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels, Leah qualified as a beneficiary of YSLEP in 2006.
YSLEP is not just scholarship but leadership. Leah became more active in her parish as a Legion of Mary member. It expanded her social circle, and through the values formation and leadership trainings provided, she was honed to become a servant leader with self-discipline, moral integrity, and social responsibility, “Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa Caritas Manila dahil sa YSLEP. At first, it was a simple financial aid until it became more. They did more than help my family financially. They made sure that we became a lot closer to the source of all good things and that of course is God.”
Caritas Manila currently sends 5,000 students nationwide. Through your help, more poor but deserving youth may be provided with better opportunities. To donate to YSLEP and other programs of Caritas Manila, visit www.caritasmanila.org.ph or call (632) 563-9311, 564-0205, 0999-7943455, 0905-4285001, or 0929-8343857.