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Fil-Am students honored during 24th Annual Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards in Washington DC

MANILA, Dec. 26 (PNA) -- As the birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal approaches, young Filipino-American students were honored during the 24th Annual Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards ceremony held last Dec. 20 at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, the US, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a release issued Monday.

Launched in 1993, the Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards recognizes the academic excellence and community service of outstanding Fil-Am youths in the Metro Washington DC area.

These youths, chosen by a Selection Committee for meeting the criteria that emphasize the ideals of Dr. Jose Rizal, namely scholarship and community service, have submitted personal essays on selected topics based on their current grade level.

During this year’s ceremony, the awardees were presented a certificate of recognition and a medal by the Philippine Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Minister Patrick Chuasoto and Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC) president Aylene Mafnas.

“The Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards serves to honor and remember Dr. Rizal's selfless love of country and for countrymen. But we believe that it should not only create awareness about Dr. Rizal, but find him within ourselves and put his inspiration into good use,” Chuasoto said in his remarks.

Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy, Sonny Busa, in his inspirational message to the students, emphasized the importance of using their talents and skills in making a difference and uplifting the lives of other people.

“The biggest satisfaction comes not from what you earned, but from what you gave to others. So take the award today and be proud of it,” he said.

After the awarding ceremony, Joseph Mafnas read to the audience two of the winning essays written by selected students from the 7th and 11th grades. Jon Melegrito also entertained the audience with a musical interlude featuring a heartfelt rendition of the patriotic Filipino song, “Bayan Ko”.

The 24th Annual Dr. Jose Rizal Youth awards was a joint project of the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc. and the Philippine Embassy. (PNA)

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