A couple of months ago, I found an online global community that recognizes the efforts of young people around the globe. It also seeks to empower them through providing an avenue for sharing ideas, dreams and vision. This global initiative transpired in an online platform called World Merit.

World Merit aims to bring people together for a common purpose. Each year, the community selects an ambassador who will travel around the world to share the vision, work on social projects, meet world leaders and provide more opportunities towards inspiring the next generation.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the finalists vying for this year’s Your Big Year (YBY) Ambassadorship. Competition tasks consisted of organizing an event to introduce World Merit in the community and documenting the stories of experts from various merit disciplines- highlighting their big year, the importance of their discipline and the aim to support the future generation. The process of completing these tasks has given me the opportunity to get to know the people of Merit, people whom I deeply admire.

 By the end of August, YBY’s chosen top 12 will fly to San Francisco, California and be among the Merit Champions to compete in the final round of the competition. The winner will become an Ambassador and will pursue a one-year global journey of World Merit.

MERIT NEXT is the next big thing for the Merit community - the world’s most accessible and moving leadership program for millennials. This month-long program and internship will enable a handful of young and exceptional individuals to travel the world to learn, hands-on, from industry experts in the fields of media, business, entrepreneurship, culture, politics and public services, science and technology.

Leading this network is a pool of talented professionals working around the clock to assist the community. Heading the team is Chris Arnold, World Merit founder and creator of YBY. Chris’ primary goal of creating the community is to be able to link talents to opportunities and present young people with an effective network to industry leaders and mentors with strong knowledge base and a dose of inspiration.

 Here are some of the interviews I conducted- inspiring stories of real people and how they, in their own efforts, supported the youth of today:


Joining the community ignited and relieved my dreams of fighting for a better world. I gained an incredible amount of energy and motivation from other members who continue to push one another to reach their full potential.

 For me, YBY is more than a competition. It is beyond competition. It is not only fun. It is not only inspiring. It is a chance to be one and share genuine friendship with equally talented people worldwide. It is life-changing.

 How about you? Do you have what it takes to join the biggest youth movement of your time? Visit us at www.worldmerit.org.

By: Mark Aethen G. Agana, 25 y.o., Manila, Philippines Philippines finalist, Your Big Year Competition 2013 World Merit*

 Mark Aethen G. Agana is a consultant in NGO projects and an alumnus of The Outstanding Students of the Philippines. Follow him on Twitter @NonitoAgana or send him an e-mail through mark.agana@gmail.com.


Rea Alducente said...

Wow, this is so inspiring Aethen! Goodluck on this and I'll pray that you'll win, :)

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Aethen said...

Thanks Rea for the support.

I made it to Final 12. I'm going to SF this November.