It's been three months since the Filipino Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro) Summit, a month and a half since UniPro's own summit and we're now less than three weeks away from the third and final piece in the Your Move summit series: the Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration (EPYC) leadership institute that will take place in August 7 at San Diego's Town and Country Hotel.
The "Your Move" summit series itself is an initiative that links up leadership conferences under a single theme that aims to unify Fil-Am organizations across the country, a challenge that groups have long envisioned. Three months since the first summit, the collaboration between conferences has spanned over 5,000 miles, been hosted in locations of large Pilipino populations, and has allowed hundreds of next generation leaders to futher gain importantant tools, networking opportunities, and empowerment, all of which will be of value as they themselves will use such resources to engage their local Fil-Am communities.
Indeed, EPYC continues what it's partner summits have provided for Fil-Ams in Hawaii and the East Coast but with one unique aspect: it will be the lead-in event for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Empowerment Conference. Based from personal experiences, I can see this as an important and beneficial component for a young Fil-Am: the aforementioned knowledge and tools that would be learned in EPYC can then be applied immediately in the next day as attendees mingle and continue to learn with veteran Fil-Am leaders.
Connections with those older than us who are attending the larger NaFFA Conference is important and the knowledge that they share will help in our own experiences. Here, we see the amazing things that collaborating and engaging can lead to. EPYC aims to help us transition from from a college to community organizer, providing us with the framework fitting for us as we make the transition and reminding us that we as millenial Fil-Ams are not alone, both within and outside our generational barriers.
Lastly, it's an event that gives us an important reminder: stay involved. For many, involvement with Fil-Am groups drops after graduating with a pleathora of reasons to go with it (career obligations, convenience, burn-out, dedicating time for other concerns, etc.) Unfortunately what goes with such disconnect is potential skills, manpower, and nascent passion that community groups need in order to continue their mission in serving the Fil-Am population. As what an older attendee told me in an anime convention: "the only time I would've brought this [convention] for our group was when I was young and stupid...not when I'm old and wise." Indeed, imagine what can happen when we haven't been leveled by years of trial and error and choose to dare...and imagine how much it can bring for Pilipinos here in the US and in the Philippines.
And we will see those who dared: keynote speakers, attendees, fellow Fil-Ams who went against the status quo and gunned to bring their visions, their dreams to the realm of reality. These individuals made their move and are now more than willing to share insight from their successes at EPYC and the Empowerment Conference. From then, it's your turn...Your Move.
Top photo image credit: official EPYC website