Reedley kid says Obama aged

February 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

I just met 19-year old Mike Cruz , the first Filipino student invited by President Barack Obama in the inaugural, at the Kapihan sa Sulo media forum last Saturday. After spending those historic moments with Obama, the one thing that Mike recalled is seeing him up close and personal and getting worried. Obama, as what Mike described, reportedly aged a little bit. He’s not as fresh looking and as handsome in person than in television. Obama aged. Well, that’s not exactly good news given that he’s only a day in office.

” He should brush up with his Seven habits of effective people, ” says Mike half-jokingly as we chatted briefly before he faced columnists and media people in that forum. One of the secrets, says Mike, of his being able to stand before crowds and maintaining a healthy disposition is what he learned from Reedley International School–that of what he described as “lifeskills”.

I asked him, what is this “lifeskills” since this is the first time that I heard about it. Mike says that Reedley is the only school that teaches this course to their students. An 80 hour per week course, lifeskills teaches students how to be effective communicators. Lifeskills course inculcates into them the needed tools to survive the rigors of life. And what are those tools?

Leadership, character strengthening and conflict resolution skills are tools which enable students, and kids, to survive the world. For Emil Ong, director of Reedley International School, lifeskills as a course is very important especially nowadays that kids are forgetting their traditional values.

” We are the only school that teaches lifeskills to students”, says Emil who accompanied Mike to the media forum. ” We notice that the school has a responsibility to make their students not just academically competent; rather we must see our students become successful leaders and having a great time with their parents and their peers precisely because of their character than just their excellent grades.”

For Mike and Emil, that is the secret to success in life—learning early on the right character and practical skills that a person needs. Success, like what Obama achieved, lies on having very strong relationships with people and having the right attitude. Parents should teach these to their kids. But, because parents right now are too busy, it is now the responsibility of the school to guide their students well on these lifeskills. Maybe, just maybe, someday, we see Mike Cruz become a Filipino Obama?

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