News Release

Start Young Program Helps Prospective Missionaries Become Self-Reliant

The Welfare and Self-Reliance Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Academy for Creating Enterprise have joined together to create the program, “Start Young,” to support the I Will Go I Will Serve Campaign of the Philippines Area Presidency by training prospective missionaries on Entrepreneurship.

The goal is to help the primary and youth start small income-generating activities (IGA) to raise mission preparation funds. Held virtually through Zoom, the program runs for three days. The third day is devoted to coaching and mentoring.

Brother James and Cynthia Fantone of The Academy for Creating Enterprise have designed six-hour online courses to prepare prospective missionaries for their missionary applications, medical exams, personal counterpart, and other needs. The teaching methodologies incorporate stories, case studies, videos, games, group activities, and visuals.

The training may be a part of the participants' children and youth program goal. Also, the program aims to help the participants be better prepared to recognize and find opportunities to be self-reliant after returning from their missions.

In the past few months, three pilots were conducted throughout the country in 18 stakes and seven coordinating councils. 441 youth have graduated from these pilots, and many have already launched their businesses.

The Welfare and Self Reliance Services (WSRS) Philippines have gathered a few testimonies from their recent Start Young graduates to inspire those earnestly seeking ways to prepare for their missions and take on the path of self-reliance and disciple leadership.

“Natutuwa ako dahil bilang isa sa mga napagbigyan ng makilahok, marami akong nalamang pamamaraan o diskarte sa buhay gamit mga skills o talents namin para kumita.” [I am so happy to be given the privilege to join this program. I learned many on how I can use my skills and talents to generate income]

John Izrel Isles, Sampaguita/Camarin Stake- 19 years old

“In the training, I have learned a lot of business principles that will help me in the long run, such as having insurance and capital. The training helped me set my mind and prepare for my future. Starting early to save gives great advantages as it is always better to start being self-reliant while we are young. I’m glad that I've encountered this training in coordination with WRS.”

Nathan Seth S. De Guzman, Tuguegaro North Stake-- 16 years old

“I’m so grateful and blessed because of the Start Young training. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned about earning money to prepare for my mission. I’ve realized that spending the money you’ve worked for yourself is more worth it than depending on your parents' pockets or savings. I’m so glad the Church teaches us to be self-reliant."

Karen Mae Y. Ibayan, Ilagan Stake-- 19 years old

“Sobrang thankful po ako kase nakapag attend ako sa training ng start young. Sobrang madaming lessons and principles akong natutunan dun at yun ay ginagamit ko ngayon upang mapag ipunan ko ang mga kakailanganin ko sa aking mission ng hindi humihingi sa magulang” [I’m so grateful that I was able to attend the Start Young Training. I’ve learned so many things about how I can prepare and save for my mission expenses so I don’t have to ask money from my parents.]

Christian Jay Zalun, Roxas District--19 years old

I’m so grateful that I have attended the Start Young Training Program because it helped me learn business principles that pushed me to resell my mother’s food products. I applied the GEM concept taught in training, and it’s perfect because my mom has existing products that I just took pictures of and posted on Facebook. I realized that I could earn and save little by little each time I resold. From this experience, I learned the value of work and money.”

Lea Penales, Mandaue Stake—18 years old

Stake presidents are encouraged to reach out to their respective WSRS managers when organizing the Start Young program for their prospective missionaries.

Developing Self Reliance through Education

Education changes lives. It opens opportunities for people to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge, and training necessary to contribute to society. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always taught its members the importance of obtaining both secular and spiritual education. As part of its commitment to provide opportunities for secular and spiritual educational growth, the Church offers several educational programs and initiatives.

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