Harvey Keh and Pathways to Higher Education

I was at my son's school a few weeks ago for the Reading of Honors. I arrived early and managed to catch the inspirational talk of Harvey Keh for the Grade 5 students.

Harvey Keh is a 27-year old Psychology graduate of the Ateneo (and Xavier) and he has put up Pathways to Higher Education -- an organization which helps marginalized individuals obtain a good education. Aside from heading Pathways, Harvey is also a writer/columnist for the Manila Times and is also a radio commentator for Radio Veritas. Pathways to Higher Education is a recipient of a grant from the Ford Foundation. I have always believed that among all things, education is the great leveler. Rich or poor -- for as long as one is given the opportunity to get a good education, he or she can improve his lot.

As I listened to him speak, I realized why I had come early. I was there early so I could hear his message. It was amusing (and inspiring) how Harvey knew exactly how to communicate with the youngsters present. I had heard several talks before, and usually, the young audience just stays quiet. With Harvey, however, the boys were reacting noisily and actively as he talked about his heroes and the boys' heroes today. Harvey talked about his heroes: Transformers, Batman, wrestlers, and sportsmen. He referred to the movie Superman and asked the question: Does the world still need a Superman?

He then went on to say that the world (or more specifically, the Philippines) needs Supermen like you and me. Each individual can perform extraordinary things. He encouraged the boys to be little Supermen to their teachers and parents. How can Grade 5 boys be heroes or Supermen? Assist those who are in need. Say thank you to your parents. Save money and participate actively in school drives. We can all be heroes right where we are.

It was good to hear someone so young (by my standards, 27 is young) accomplish so much. It is good that young people still dream dreams of a better Philippines. An added bonus was the message of one of the boys where he talked about the parable of the talents and bearing fruit. He reminded all the boys that harvest season is not yet over. There are still 3 seasons left (corresponding to the three remaining quarters for the school year).

What about you? Are you bearing fruit? When will your harvest season come? Have you found the Superman in you? Search within and let the hero in you be revealed daily. Let us all take our cue from young people like Harvey Keh and our middle-school boys. We can slowly change the world.

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, September 15, 2006]

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