After going through nominations from all over the US and Canada, five groups representing the younger generation of Filipinos were recognized at the first-ever Epic Youth Leadership Awards or EYLA.
EYLA is presented by the Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards.
From a list of over 50 nominations, the top five organizations were chosen and invited to the Google campus in Sunnyvale, California for recognition.
The winners of the first place award which comes with a cash prize of $3,000 and a trip to the Philippines for further recognition went to Feed 2 Succeed.
Caroline Raquel found out about a feeding program at a school during a family trip to the Philippines where it costs $3.00 to feed one student for a month.
Upon returning to the US Raquel recruited her friends to help which turned into the organization.
Feed 2 Succeed now has numerous chapters in different schools in the US helping children all over the Philippines.
“To be recognized after 5 years of hard work means so much to us and so much to the kids that we're helping so we're so grateful to be here and be recognized," Racquel said.
Tiffany Soto added, “As a 35-person club that started at our local high school, as sophomores, we definitely didn’t expect it to grow so much and be able to feed as many children as we have and continue to do so."
The second place award and a cash prize of $2,000 went to Kultivate Labs/Undiscovered, a group of San Francisco Filipinos who are trying to promote and uplift Filipino small businesses and talent in the city despite rapid gentrification and economic displacement.
“I think it's great being spotlighted because it really shows we're making a difference and we're starting to change people's perception of what economic development and being Filipino American means," said Desi Danganan.
The third place prize of $1,000 went to Kubo, a centralized website where people can learn about their Filipino generation and community.
Other finalists included mentorship group Pinay Power II and leadership and civic engagement group EPYC.
EYLA is a new search competition by ABS-CBN Corporation, ABS-CBN International and the Ugat Foundation.
Read more on Balitang America.