For many, running for government office isn't an option to take. Politics isn't an easy place to navigate and thrive in, with big responsibilities to take on for the sake of your constituents. Not to mention, the fallacy of being in public service, and we've all heard it before—generalizing politicians as corrupt or "trapo." But Chalk BYM winner Maryruth Maximo isn't seated as the SK Federation President of Taguig City for the money, fame, or power. Rather, she's breaking barriers in ultimately putting action first, and hopes that the youth, through her leadership, will soon follow through.
"I want them to know that not all politicians are self-serving," the young leader shares. Before her foray into politics, she's already put herself in the spotlight through joining beauty pageants. Inspired to make a change, Mary decided to step down the stage and run for a position in the 2018 Sangguniang Kabataan elections—and won. This time, she wears not a crown, but a promise to make a difference during her political reign.
And the 21-year-old did not waste time in implementing projects for the youth of Taguig. Since taking her oath in June last year, Mary, together with her team of equally passionate SK council members, are able to mount projects like the successful YouthCon and Taguig Youth Program. These events made such an impact that now, the city's youth sector is more active than ever in working together with their local government unit. "I make diverse programs, projects, and activities that would entice them to participate and involve themselves," she says. The UP Manila student also aims to promote entrepreneurship and build plans to help the less privileged youth make a livelihood to support themselves and their families.
Dipping her toes in this field for the first time, Mary instantly knew that it's a path that she will take—and stay in for as long as she can still center her influence to a good cause. When asked if she can see herself in politics in the future, her answer is a clear yes. "The first time I did fieldwork, people started thanking me. That’s the moment I knew how beautiful it feels like to touch other people’s lives and become a helping hand," the SK President narrates.
Mary is the type of leader who listens, as she describes her style. Being innovative, determined, and having a holistic approach on things are key things in being a great leader, which she constantly works on day after day of serving her people. As a public servant, passion and compassion are important qualities she instills in herself. And of course, putting her own personality in the mix, the youth leader is able to introduce her unique flair in good governance —the efficient, transparent, and responsive way.
She credits her mentors, which include her family and heroes in public service Mayor Lino, Speaker Alan, Senator Pia, and Congresswoman Lani Cayetano, in instilling these important values of leadership in her. "They helped me have a wider perspective on things and have a deeper love for everything that I’m doing," she muses, adding, "We all work together. We work hand in hand. We communicate and synergize. I've learned that it's always, always for the people."
Determined to be a modern-day role model, her enthusiasm in youth empowerment is on steady ignition, thus her participation in Chalk Bright Young Manila. "I joined because I want to let people know how important it is to empower the youth, as they are the future of our country," Mary explains. It's another platform to voice out her plans and the difference she intends to make for the better. This go-getter moves to a bigger arena, seeking for more audience to sow the seeds of good governance.
But when she's not in the classroom finishing a due paper or on her work desk penning the next youth program, Mary normally lives her life to the fullest—going on trips to refresh her mind and spending time with friends and family to keep her feet on the ground. Sure, it can be overwhelming with a lot of roles at hand, but the Organizational Communication major has long learned to plan ahead and know her priorities at the moment. "Know where you're needed more," Mary advises.
Despite the doubters, she's still keen on urging the youth to work for the government. Her faith in our generation is strong, and if you ask us, it's the kind of positivity that we need. "As early as now, we should help our country to prosper. Who else will fit but us, if we want change?"
It's a challenge she dares to leave upon us.
Meet the Chalk Bright Young Manila winners here:
Photographed by Ed Encelona
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aldrin Ramos
Clothes by Forever 21, Penshoppe, and Mango
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma, Angeline dela Cruz, Muriel Vega Perez
Hair by Jeff Valenzuela, Arthur Tolentino, Muriel Vega Perez
Video Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
Videography by Mismo Studio
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