By Annie Atienza, University of the Philippines, Quezon City

When I received the AIT-Tiger Leong Innovation and Leadership Camp acceptance letter, I quickly told myself that this is going to be my leverage point, my comeback, my way back to standing up again stronger than before. Right from the start I knew that AIT will bring out a lot of good things not just for myself but for the whole team – good things in terms of but not limited to intellectual and holistic development. Indeed, AIT-Tiger Leong International Innovation and Leadership Camp prove me right.

This camp really taught me a lot: kicking off with first day’s Leadership Talk to Dos and Don’ts of an Entrepreneur to Sources of Innovation to Systems Thinking to Power of Failure and the list goes on and on. Every single day, the camp has something great to give us. I like how every topic, even being diverse with each other, connected us to the importance of sustainability and how through focusing on it will give us the opportunity of changing the world. I love how it motivated us to be the best versions of ourselves and so we can give the best that we have to this non-stop changing society.

Moving further, aside from the classroom learning experience I obtained and site visits which opened our minds to endless possibilities, I would not forget how much I enjoyed the company of my co-participants from different parts of Asia. I liked how every single camper get comfortable with each other, not afraid of shouting his voice at the same time listening to other’s opinion. Everyone was standing for his perspective and was bold in sharing his ideas despite the cultural differences. One thing I would surely miss once I get back to Philippines is the daily routine I got used to here in Thailand. I would surely miss our group’s adventures every after session, dinner to Thailand’s best places and late night talks with these people of various cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

I applied to AIT-Tiger Leong Camp with a vision of changing the self-perspective to a world-perspective, of seeing the good in everything which will cause a domino effect in our community. During our three-day stay in Chang Rai, I was reminded that I am not the only one with such vision. We are many. The great change we all are hoping for is possible if we just always choose to be courageous enough in taking the first step. I was reminded that there are many people like Mr. Tiger Leong, and Ms. Apple of Rai Ruen Rom – people who always choose to look back from where they came from and look forward by helping educate the youth. It just really needs a strong passion within ourselves to gradually change the world we are all responsible for. The way may be long and rocky but it is all about the mindset and perspective.