USTP, NIU sign MOU for PYLP 2022-2024

By Jomerl I. Gomez, USTP System STRATCOMM

With the hopes of expanding scholarly ties and promoting closer academic collaboration with other higher educational institutions here and abroad, the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 7, 2022. The signing officially sealed a 3-year collaboration with the Northern Illinois University (NIU) for the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) from 2022 to 2024.


The Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) is a leadership development exchange that gives Philippine secondary students (ages 15-17) and adult mentors (ages 25-35) from Mindanao a four-week training in the United States. PYLP is now in its nineteenth year of providing student leaders from various communities throughout Mindanao the chance to take part in an intensive one-month leadership training and team-building experience in the USA. They have chosen the USTP System as their partner for the next three years of implementing the program in the Philippines.

L-R: Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II, USTP System President; Engr. Reuel C.Pallugna, Presidential Assistant for External Affairs, and Dr. Ma. Elena L. Paulma, USTP System Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Mr. Robert Brinkman, NIU Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the virtual MOU signing

The PYLP primarily focuses on civic education, youth leadership, respect for diversity, community engagement, and environmental education — themes that they deem crucial in developing cross-ethnic relationships and understanding that allow for peaceful coexistence and cooperation in Mindanao.

USTP officials were joined by Prof. Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail, Program Director of PYLP at NIU, Dean Robert Brinkman from the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Judy Ledgerwood, CSEAS Director at NIU. The NIU officials expressed their gratitude and excitement for this partnership with USTP.

Dean Robert Brinkman of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at NIU

Dr. Judy Ledgerwood, Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at NIU

Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II represented USTP System. During his message, he shared that he is confident that this collaborative effort can “transpire the socio-economic growth in the region and the country… by nurturing the next generation of innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in Mindanao by actively engaging our youth and encouraging them to become part of the change that we want in our country.”

Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II, USTP System President

After the virtual MOU signing, the following PYLP Batch 19 semi-finalists were announced by Dr. Anito Librando Jr., PYLP Youth Program Officer, and Atty. Ernesto Neri, PYLP Special Programs Officer:

Male Youth

  • Jamael Abdulrauf
  • Jodenn Markalgallar
  • Ben Russel Ampahani
  • Churchly Keith Balatian
  • Roy Balladares
  • Junaid Basher
  • Hassam Gampong
  • Mohammad Ishaq Hadji Faisal
  • Adzrie Ishmael
  • Mohaimer Jailani
  • Ailan Maca-ampao
  • Anton Joaquin Khan Mala
  • Elmer Rendon
  • Keen Ramziz Rule
  • Vincent Paul Salayog
  • Charles Ivan Solis
  • Mohammad Sumpingan
  • Al-Azerbaijan Usman
  • Ben-Zha’ad Yusop

Female Youth

  • Ferry Anne Kyla Abdulganih
  • Jasmine Abelidas
  • Kiana Angela Bitos
  • Monique Cabanayan
  • Anjelica Edzel
  • Ianah Jeannie Eguia
  • Haneenah Habib
  • Francine Leigh Jumana
  • Hanirah Latip
  • Elyza Carisse Magalasin
  • Scherizna Managola
  • Allyza Sophia Manundo
  • Nurhafizah Mohammad Zaidie
  • Nursaeda Musaiya
  • Laviña Naive
  • Kaycee Louchel Occeña
  • Somaiya Padilla
  • Satrina Raja
  • Hana Samimi
  • Christine Jane Soria
  • Therese Orlhanne Tulabing

Male Adults

  • Al-Jayson Abubakar
  • Al Amen Guimbalan
  • Al-Rashid Nul
  • Rod John Pandili
  • Richard Sucion

Female Adults

  • Shielamar Judan
  • Sheila Manocay
  • Saima Maulana
  • Denzy Rose Tangkusan
  • Quennie Marie Zuyco

The semi-finalists will undergo an interview process to determine the final set of participants for the PYLP Batch 19.

Zoom participants share a smile for the successfully concluded MOU signing

USTP and NIU look forward to empowering the youth and promoting community development in their respective communities.

Dr. Maria Angeles D. Hinosolango, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Services and concurrent Director of Student Affairs at USTP CDO, moderated the virtual MOU signing.

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