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The YLEA had its modest beginnings way back in 1985. Then Philippine Jaycees National President Renato “Rene” B. Batoon, a staunch supporter of youth development projects and whose NOM Theme, “Jaycees for a Better Tomorrow,” encapsulated his administration’s thrust towards the youth, conceived of the idea of honoring academically exceptional students all over the country as a way of motivating them to excel further.

f-yleaThe National President personally coined the term, “Presidential Leadership Excellence Award” (PLEA) for this landmark undertaking, as this was his “pet” project. In its pilot run, the project targeted the top ten graduating elementary students from each of the 1,000 public and private schools in the country. In just a short span of four months, from January to April 1985, the entire National Organization, with the National President personally overseeing this pilot project, vigorously promoted the implementation to all participating Jaycee chapters, numbering around 430 at that time. About 10,000 outstanding graduating elementary students were given medals and certificates all over the country, courtesy of the Ministry of Education and Culture, under Minister Jaime C. Laya. This project created such a great impact, that school officials from the various parts of the country encouraged them to continue this worthwhile undertaking.

YLEA pics National LaunchThis pioneering activity was recognized by no less than Junior Chamber International when it won the “Most Outstanding Youth Development Project” Award during the 35th JCI Asia-Pacific Conference in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1985, the only NOM Award won by the Philippine Jaycees that year.

Corollary to the PLEA, the National Leadership also launched the “Citizens Army Training Leadership Excellence Award” (CATLEA) that same year, under the chairmanship of National Commissioner Romeo Mascardo. This project was supported by the AFP Chief of Staff General Fabian C. Ver, and endorsed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. About 200 graduates were the recipients of this award, all high school graduates for leadership and academic excellence, and later organized into one club, the officers of whom meet at least once a month in the JCP Headquarters.

While the CATLEA was dissolved in 1990 due to the public’s animosity towards Citizen’s Army Training program, the PLEA project, however continued and prospered. Under National President Benjamin S. Lim, the project was renamed “Presidential Youth Leadership Excellence Award” (PYLEA). Under his term, the PYLEA expanded its scope to include elementary and high school graduating students.

The program changed to its present name, “Youth Leadership Excellence Award” in 1993, under the term of National President Roderick L. Ngo.


Otherwise known as “Batang Leader Award”, the award gives due recognition to deserving public and private elementary and high school students to inspire them towards greater achievements in life.



The Youth Leadership Excellence Awards (YLEA) is one of the flagship projects of the Junior Chamber International-Philippines. Its objective is to give due recognition to outstanding public and private elementary and high school students and to inspire them towards greater achievements in life.

The Youth Leadership Excellence Award is presented by the Junior Chamber International Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito to deserving graduating elementary and high school students from both private and public schools throughout the Philippines.

The objective of the project is basically to honor outstanding students of the private and public elementary schools and high schools (usually the Valedictorian, but not necessarily) for their leadership qualities and academic achievement.

National Chair: Jan Richard Reyes

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