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The New Rizal of 2013

In celebration of the National Week for the Gifted and Talented, the Philippine Center for Gifted Education, Inc. bestowed upon Debra Ann M. Ponce, a graduating high school student of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University the “Bagong Rizal: Pag-asa ng Bayan 2013” award. Ms. Ponce, along with 16 other awardees, received the prestigious recognition in a ceremony held last November 24, 2013 in Intramuros, Manila.

The said award is given to students and out of school youths in the Philippines who have proven exemplary performances in one or two multiple intelligences and have manifested leadership skills through active involvement in different school and community activities. In honor of Dr. Jose Rizal, the candidates for the award must also uphold admirable qualities that our national hero lived.

There were 153 nominees from all regions of the country who went through a tough screening process of interviews and deliberations. Out of this number, 17 were chosen as finalists and recipients of the award who in turn, went through an orientation, leadership and skills training, and projects planning prior to the awarding ceremony. This was held at Casa Manila from November 22-24, 2013 to train them to become effective future leaders of the country.

Debra Ann M. Ponce, belongs to the honors class and top five percent of the graduating batch. Her classmates, friends and even teachers have attested to her compassion for others and her commitment to the values that the school maintains. She has also positively influenced her peers and fellow youth by setting as an example in all her endeavors.

Sharing with her in the award, is a fellow Atenean and an alumni of the high school, Adriel Earl Toribio.