This is an article contribution from Lance Boyd, the coordinator of this endeavor in Hawaii. Meet Dia, the young Batangueña who will be sent to the US for this environmental leadership program.
A group of 20 students from Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand will visit the Island of Hawaii on May 6 for the 2012 Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues, an innovative five-week environmental leadership program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
They will participate in leadership development workshops and obtain an overview of the U.S. environmental movement through lectures at the East-West Center’s Honolulu campus and field studies in the community. Then, they will depart to Boulder, Colorado and Washington D.C. for the remaining two weeks of the institute.
The program is designed to foster a greater understanding of the U.S. environmental movement and aid in the development of sustainable pathways to environmental stewardship.
The five-week institute is hosted by the East-West Center with funding from the Study of the U.S. Branch in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The institute is held in collaboration with more than 50 organizations, including the University of Hawaii at Manoa Environmental Center, Yale University’s Global Environmental Governance Project, The Nature Conservancy and The Kohala Center.
“La Salle has helped me develop a passion for the environment. They gave me opportunities to volunteer in mangrove ecosystem restoration efforts, installment of a materials recovery facility, tree-planting activities, and coastal and mountain clean-ups. As the former Vice Chairperson for SPIN Division in the Council of Student Organizations, I’ve also had the chance to co-head and pioneer our school’s first E-Advocacy Month,” says Diana Colleen “Dia” M. Dimayuga, who recently earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and is one the 2012 SUSI-GEI scholars.
“I believe that SUSI will enhance not just my knowledge and awareness of global environmental issues, but also my skills as a mobilizer of environmental movements. I’m deeply thrilled to bring back all my learning (from SUSI) back home, especially to PUSOD Taal Lake Conservation Center, my partner NGO,” Dimayuga adds.
Diversity is a key strength of the program, whose participants bring a broad range of backgrounds, including Aerospace Engineering, Biology, Biotechnology, Green Chemistry, Ecotourism, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Urban Development, and Public Health.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.eastwestcenter.org/education/student-programs/susi-on-globalenvironmental-issues/.
Dia Dimayuga, 19, is a recent graduate of De La Salle Lipa Batch 2012.