Sheryan - Cultural & Environmental Preservation - Philippines
What three things do you do differently after your program at the East-West Center (SUSI/YSEALI)?
The learnings we had in EWC has introduced me to a wider perspective of the world and the great connection between the environment and my religion. I get more motivated as a Muslim woman to show to my fellow Muslims sisters around the globe that we can do something for our people and the environment.
The first-hand and practical activities we experienced in EWC has significantly changed the way I used to be. I was a silent type of a person who tends to keep my thoughts and ideas with myself alone because I am too shy to share it. Now, I love talking. I love sharing my thoughts and experiences. I love the feeling of getting other people inspired and motivated just how EWC did to me. I want people to experience what I have experienced.
Lastly, I had one great realization after SUSI. A realization I shared with my family, friends and the people around me. I realized that doing smaller things could collectively result to greater things we do not even realize. This has changed my daily way of life as I now become more aware of even with little things I do.
What impact did the program have on your career?
The SUSI EWC has planted a passion in me that I carry until now. With that passion, I gain courage to go out of my comfort zone and express myself with the hope of influencing and inspiring other people.
The program has strengthened my Ecotourism background and helped me land on a job immediately. With the experiences and learnings I earned, I become a supervising cultural affairs officer in Bureau on Cultural Heritage, working for cultural and environmental preservation. I have seen the great connection of the culture of the people and the environment.
Also, I become a senior management team head in a local environmental non-government organization where I get to explore our own land and be able to see the potential and at the same time need of our natural resources to be protected and conserve.
These lead me to a wider road where I meet many people, featured as a cultural and environmental advocate and get the chance to talk to different group of people in some events to share my insights on the things I learn and hope to inspire them.
What issues are you most passionate about in your daily life?
I become more passionate about doing my best to become a better Muslim. Being a Muslim is a daily life activity. A life where we must care every little things we do and every little things around us. I believe that I, being passionate about culture and environment is a result of my greater passion to become a better Muslim.
How have you come to see leadership?
I see leadership as a responsibility to see through people. Being a leader means being someone who knows to see the brighter side of each person and on each situation. I believe that a leader must not see him/herself above anybody else but just on the same level of everybody. For the people to be able to relate, believe, inspired and get motivated, a leader must have the passion and pure intentions. I strongly believe that to become a better leader, your passion and intentions must come from within because no matter how hard the challenges you face along the road, if your intentions are pure, the universe will conspire to make you reach your goal.