Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our DLSU LEADERS student projects

So the DLSU run of LEADERS (Leadership course, taught by retiring P&G Philippines General Manager Jim Lafferty) has come to a close. I'm happy with how the class has turned out, especially with the great projects done by our students. There were 10 groups all in all, and here they are one by one:

Note that these projects were taken from conceptualization to execution within a time frame of 8-9 weeks, by students who are pretty much busy with their other academic commitments, so the scale of their projects are not that big. Due to these constraints, these projects effectively served as "proofs of concept." There's definitely potential to make these projects even bigger, if the right organizations are tapped in the future!

1. "Leading them out of poverty" - This project jumpstarted a livelihood program (haircutting, etc) in a community in Tondo. The students had to find a community, and also an NGO that specialized in teaching livelihood skills. Since the entire training program lasts 6 months, the project was transitioned to an organization in DLSU.

2. "Flush less, save more" - This project aimed to reduce the water consumption within DLSU by putting water banks in DLSU's (old, high water consuming) toilets. They were able to perform a test in one toilet with considerable improvements, and is now being considered for scaling up.

3. "Budget management 101" - This project helped security guards in DLSU manage their own finances by partnering with BPI to administer a budget management seminar to them. The guards found this useful, and are looking to make this a regular activity.

4. "Let's make way for volunteerism" - This project was an NGO awareness week held inside DLSU. The students invited 6 NGOs to spread their advocacies in the school (a rarity) and also to get sign-ups from students. Many students visited the NGO booths and a good number also signed up.

5. "Taft guys think green" - This project advocated the use of hemp bags as an alternative for plastic bags. The students had to handle the entire supply chain and were able to sell a good number of bags. Proceeds went to Gawad Kalinga.

6. "sTARP it" - This project collected used tarpaulins and partnered with a business establishment to convert them into usable items like bags. They also sold these bags within the University and a store outside. Proceeds went to the environmental fund of DLSU. The store now wants to continue the sale of tarp-bags.

7. "Health alert" - This is a health awareness campaign specifically targeting Business students. They partnered with the Physical Education department to heighten awareness and increase reach. Additionally, their materials are going to be used by the department in their future activities.

8. "iMedical" - This project created a web app that contains data of hospitals within the Philippines, presented with a Google Maps-like interface. (They started with 50 hospitals entered in the system). To manage the site after the course, they partnered with an outside group.

9. Tree planting for kids - This project took a few dozen kids from a certain community to a tree-planting activity, with the intent of helping foster environmental awareness in these kids. The students were able to invite student volunteers to help out in the actual activity.

10. Course introduction videos - This project aims to help high school students make the right decision on what course to take up in college. A series of introduction videos for courses have been shot and recorded and uploaded in youtube. See an ECE sample.

So what did I like about the projects in general?
  • There is much diversity in this class, as seen in the projects they did. It is also nice to see people from different course backgrounds collaborate and come up with unique ideas.
  • It's interesting to see that this course provided a venue for the students to do something they probably would not have done otherwise. I have not done something like this in my college years.
  • It's also leadership in action. Since this is a leadership class, we wanted the students to practice leadership in practical situations. It's nice to see people applying the frameworks on leadership and project management that we shared during the course.
  • Finally, with their projects, they have helped some people in their own ways.
It was a great opportunity co-facilitating this class!

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