Academics Colleges and Schools Office of Student Affairs (OSA)

I’MPOWER: EMPOWERING STARTS WITH THE I
by Putlimonaira Amilbangsa II, The Beacon Publications

The El Consejo Atenista’s first ever EMPOWER Talk kick-started with the theme of "Empowering Through Self-Awareness" last September 29, 2018 at Xavier Hall, Salvador Campus. With a crowd of over 40 students, El Consejo Atenista invited inspirational speakers to empower students and at the same time capacitate them to motivate others into pursuing their own passion and purpose in society.


Ms Sheila Tiong, a resident guidance counselor of Ateneo de Zamboanga University discussed Self- Awareness on a personal level. She recounted her personal journey of understanding her experiences that shaped what she is today, and shared to the audience how they can do it too.


“I always was afraid of accepting the role of a leader, because I thought I was not ready to handle others and so I chose to say no.” She shared how understanding one’s history and background and one’s process of decision making could help an individual shape and change what is still to come. Ms Tiong shares that the two most important things that come into play with Self-awareness are PERSPECTIVE and CHOICE. The first session hit the core at knowing oneself and having a clear perception of one's personality should be coupled with making the right or better choices before one can start to empower others.

Following Ms Tiong's session was a talk by Mr Mark Francisco from the Faculty of Social Sciences department of AdZU who discussed Self-Awareness on a social level. He emphasized the role of an individual in the context of society. As an individual, it is easy to be influenced by society especially with its characteristics of being controlling, demanding, politically problematic, frustrating, being full of fakes, etc. He said that although there are many factors that could sway one to be a mindless follower, being self-aware of the things that one could contribute to better the society, or the things one can do to help empower others is a step into achieving the capability to influence others.

Concluding the talk, the speakers answered questions during the open forum, followed by closing remarks from ECA Co-moderator, Ms Sitti Fatima Paula Chua, and the Vice President for Higher Education, Fr Marcos Louis Catalan Jr, SJ.


The EMPOWER: Through Self-Awareness talk is the first of the EMPOWER series of the El Consejo Atenista. This aims to strengthen student engagement and provide equal opportunity for the student body to experience leadership within themselves.


Photos: Al Francis Alcuizar

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