Dedication to a powerful dream
As a fourteen-year-old boy, Jayvy Gamboa was attending St. Bridget College, a highly rated Catholic elementary and secondary school in his hometown on a day that changed his life. Batangas City is known for its large seaport on Luzon Island in the Philippines, and city-dwellers in Manila often traveled the sixty miles south to enjoy its palmy beaches and watch the sun setting behind the western islands. Jayvy’s middle class family struggled to pay tuition, so he lacked the resources for the enrichment available to some, yet he’d found himself searching for more, something that might impact the lives of other people. He’d already joined Campus Scouters at age twelve, a school-based club for youth that supports the Senior Scouting Program of Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
St. Bridget’s school motto is, Luceat lux vestra, or “Let Your Light Shine,” and Jayvy says he consistently held on to this inspiring statement. Already on his way to earning his Eagle Scout Rank, he learned that day of an even higher honor: the Search for the Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts of the Philippines. A powerful dream was born. After working hard and achieving his Eagle rank at age fifteen, he applied to the Search. He listed many achievements, but he did not win. He hadn’t participated in enough community service.
Jayvy set out to do just that, but a funny thing happened. His dream grew. After a series of community services, “I realized that I loved what I was doing,” Jayvy says, “and that an award was not enough to be a motivation.” The involvement with his community proved deeply gratifying, and the thought of doing what he loved simply for an award seemed irrelevant. He forgot about the Search and simply continued initiating projects related to the environment or youth development. He trained for the Volunteer Fire Brigade and joined the Knights of the Altar. Most importantly, as senior crew leader in Scouters for three years and president for two years, Jayvy and his team could independently steer the club’s vision and goals. “We were able to revolutionize the organizational life of the students not only within, but also beyond the club,” Jayvy says. The whole school participated more in community projects, and “a revolution” took place in the school culture, proven by lasting friendships and enduring community service to this day.
Three years later, he’d almost forgotten his dream, yet he felt prompted or perhaps “called” one day to check a routine memorandum from the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. According to its information, he was still eligible for the Search—but not for much longer. He was about to turn eighteen. This time, the award wasn’t about him or his accomplishments as much as it was a calling, “a way to pay it forward for everything that my school and scouting unit have done for and with me,” Jayvy says. His birthday drew closer while the Search committee’s proceedings plodded on. And then on the day before he turned eighteen, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts of the Philippines of 2014.
Jayvy states emphatically, “I could not have reached any of this without the support of my family, Scoutmaster, school administrators, and especially my crew, whom I treat as my family of friends.” Their support enabled his ideas to materialize; their words of comfort strengthened him when the challenges seemed too great; and he wants to make it clear “that anyone who has the right mindset and mentors can definitely do what I did, as long as they step out of their comfort zones and find deep meaning in what they are doing.” Jayvy wants to share his experiences with those who are younger in hopes of helping to change their lives, always looking ahead to social development.
He now attends Ateneo de Manila University in an honors economics program and is adding law to understand economic policies in their legal and mathematical sense by obtaining both degrees. He thereby hopes to widen his skill set to work for international development agencies, especially as ASEAN opportunities for cooperation and even unity among Asian countries is expanding so rapidly. Jayvy sees ASEAN as promoting growth and development, and he hopes to be a part of it, especially helping countries whose economic growth is hampered because of underdeveloped industries.
In the recent years of community service and valuing the people he works with, Jayvy has developed an extension of St. Bridget’s motto as his constant guidepost. “I let my light shine so that others may see their lights too.” Jayvy concludes, “I envision a community with leaders of unimpeachable integrity and character, where no single person is deprived of his or her human rights, a society where no boundary for culture, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status” could limit opportunities, a community where “no one is judged on his weaknesses, but everyone is appreciated for their strengths”—the dream of an outstanding Boy Scout now become a young man.