Profiles of Jollibee Yumbassadors
I wrote about the unveiling of the Jollibee Yumbassadors in my other blog. Know more about these inspiring Youth Icons by reading their individual profiles here:
Francis Casey “Niño” Alcantara
Eighteen-year-old Francis Alcantara of Cagayan de Oro made Philippine sports history by being the first Filipino to win a grand slam title, performing splendidly in the junior doubles competition (with a Taiwanese co-player) of the 2009 Australian Open. He currently ranks 2nd in the Philippines. For his athletic achievements, he has been commended by no less than sporty Senator Pia Cayetano, the international press and his growing base of Filipino fans.
Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
The passion to serve runs in Bam Aquino’s blood, who was born to a prominent family of political leaders which includes no less than hero Ninoy Aquino. At 26, Bam made a name for himself as the youngest person in Philippine history to head a government agency, the National Youth Commission. His youthful leadership and innovation has earned him recognition as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, as well as inclusion in the first Asia 21, the Asia Society’s group of promising leaders in the region. Now 33, he continues to help create a better community as the president of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards, and MicroVentures Inc., a social business enterprise that empowers micro-entrepreneurs. He is also a spokesperson for Children’s Hour and Haribon Foundation.
Miro Frances Capili
At the young age of 15, Miro Capili already made her name in the Philippine literary scene by being recognized in the country’s most prestigious and longest-running literary contest—the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. She received her first Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2008 by winning 1st Prize in the Kabataan Essay category. This feat was followed in 2010 as she bagged the 1st Prize in both the Essay category and the Kabataan Essay category. Continuously striving to become the best writer she can be, Miro was accepted as a Fellow for Creative Nonfiction at the 49th Siliman University National Writers’ Workshop—the oldest literary workshop in the country.
Sam Concepcion discovered his love for the theater when he was just eight years old. With his talent, drive and positive attitude, he found success in the mainstream music scene and on television by the time he was 13. Aside from showcasing his multiple talents, he also inspires the youth through his many other non-showbiz roles. In 2005, he was declared the Youth Ambassador for Education and the Arts in the 3rd District of Manila. Currently, he continues to serve as youth role model and spokesperson for the Department of Education, official spokesperson for the Philippines of the Business Software Alliance’s B4USurf Campaign, and as Ambassador for Children of World Vision, an organization that helps send indigent kids to school. Adding even more shine to Sam’s continuously rising star is the prestigious UNAP Outstanding Youth Leader award given to him by the United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines in 2009.
Since she was young, Reese Fernandez already had a special place in her heart devoted to the underprivileged, thanks to a missionary mother who immersed her in indigent communities and religious teachings. She co-founded Rags to Riches (R2R) with nine partners to help empower women in Payatas, a poor community in Manila. The program trains housewives to craft world-class bags out of rags, all under the creative supervision of renowned designers like Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz-Alunan. For her efforts, she was named one of the 20 Global Young Social Entrepreneurs by the International Youth Foundation in 2008, one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award in (year), and was granted a Rolex’s Award for Enterprise Young Laureates Programme in 2010.
At first glance, Carmela Lao is just like any other 17-year-old high school senior who excels in her academics and extra-curricular activities. But at such a young age, she has already made her fellowmen proud. In the 2009 International Mathematical Olympiad held in Germany, Carmela became the first Filipina to win the bronze medal at the oldest, most prestigious math contest in the world. The next year, she won the silver prize in the same competition which was held in Kazakhstan, showing the world once again a new dimension to the dynamic young Pinoy.
Nasser Lubay is the perfect example of how perseverance leads to success. The 27-year-old is a self-taught visual artist whose fusion of traditional painting methods, graphic arts, and other modern techniques have given the world a taste of world-class Pinoy talent. In Berlin, he placed 2nd at the Celeste Prize, an international competition for contemporary artists, with his watercolor painting Rebirth. And at the 2009 World Eco Bag Exhibition in Malaysia, his Save the Green design was shortlisted for 1000+7 Designs. He was also selected to participate in the first major cross strait international art show, the Animamix Biennial 2009-2010 Taiwan and China.
Jean Stefano Marcelo
It’s not everyday that a Pinoy teenager gets invited to the same team as international racing champions. This was the case for the talented Jean Stefano Marcelo who began his karting career at age 15 by competing around Europe and Asia. While racing for Belgian team Kosmic, he made history as the first Filipino to achieve a third-place finish in the 2007 Belgian Karting Championship Series at popular Formula One venue Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. The same year, he was awarded the Philippine Golden Wheel Award, which is given annually to the most accomplished driver from any racing discipline. At the 2008 World ROK Cup finals in Lonato, Italy, he impressed Tony Kart Racing team owner Roberto Robazzi, who then invited him to join the group that produced champions Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and Sebastian Vettel.
Sunshine Plata is world-renowned for her coffee paintings, an innovation that was inspired by a coffee signature she saw in a museum. To pursue her love for visual arts, she quit her job and put up her first one-woman show in 2008. She has since staged eight more coffee painting exhibits. Today, her works are considered a phenomenon, having been featured on the famous Martha Stewart Show in the US as well as countless local TV programs. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has also purchased two of her paintings and she continues to be commissioned for her art in the US, Canada and Europe. Most admiringly, the 30-year-old artist reaches out to underprivileged children, teaching them the art she loves through free workshops and helping these children find their passion in life.