Volvo celebrates 14 trailblazing years of automotive excellence in the Philippines by steering the youth towards leadership marked by both integrity of heart and excellent skills.

The Swedish premier auto group recognized as the global leader for automotive safety technology and innovation launches the Voice of Leadership, a quest for young, promising Filipino public speakers who embody the essence of true leadership.

Organized by Viking Cars, Incorporated (VCI) and Scandinavian Motors Corporation (SMC), Voice of Leadership is an interschool public speaking competition open to graduating high school students who display exemplary leadership attributes.

"After 14 successful years, we believe it is only right to usher Volvo Philippines' 15th year with a corporate advocacy that honors one of our brand's highest ideals, stewardship-a genuine care and responsibility for people. Through the Voice of Leadership, we reaffirm our commitment to this ideal by cultivating leadership among the youth, especially among students who are poised to become the future leaders of our country," said VCI President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla.

During the Voice of Leadership launch held on November 27, 2008 at the Volvo Makati Showroom, Volvo presented the eleven (11) schools participating in the competition. The event was also graced by model student, gifted athlete and Voice of Leadership spokesperson Chris Tiu who gave his insights on the essence of leadership for today's generation.

Among the participating schools are Assumption College, Ateneo De Manila University, Colegio San Agustin, De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, La Salle Greenhills, Miriam College, Saint Jude Catholic School, St. Paul University Quezon City, St. Scholastica's College, Xavier School and the University of the Philippines Integrated School.

Leadership, Loud and Clear

The Voice of Leadership is a program that advocates the development of youth leaders who, by eloquently expressing their thoughts and ideas, can become potential engines of positive change.

It upholds leadership fueled by integrity of heart and excellent skills, rooted in God-centeredness and exemplified by accountable and responsible stewardship. It also aims to be a channel for aspiration, recognition, inspiration, vision and action for outstanding high school leaders.

Through the course of the program, Volvo hopes to discover powerful voices that can move and inspire, innovate and instigate leadership transformation among the youth.

"The Voice of Leadership is a platform that can potentially reveal powerful and compelling ideas from the current generation of young Filipinos. With this program, we hope to positively influence their ideas by driving the importance of true and responsible leadership," said Atty. Arcilla.

Winning Voices

Only the cream of the crop can compete to become the 2008 Voice of Leadership winner.

Each participating school can field two to three candidates based on the criteria for student nomination. Eligible students must exhibit leadership in extra-curricular activities, be it in school organizations, socio-civic groups or religious communities. They must show leadership in academics by being in the top 25% of their class. They must also be leaders by example, having no violation on their school record. Finally, they must possess the voice of leadership by being able to prepare and deliver an eight-minute speech relevant to specified leadership topics within the scope of the competition.

To help hone their skills and prepare them for the competition, the chosen candidates will be sent to the Voice of Leadership Camp, an intensive two-day workshop hosted by Volvo. Here, they will learn speech writing and elocution skills from speech trainers and glean lessons on leadership from invited speakers.

After the Voice of Leadership Camp, the participating schools must then select their official representative through an intra-school competition where the candidates will write and deliver their speech on a given leadership topic. The winner will receive a medal and monetary award during their respective school's commencement exercises. Each school winner shall also have the honor of delivering his speech during the national competition at the Voice of Leadership Gala Night on February 11, 2009.

A contestant's speech will be judged according to content (35%), presentation which includes delivery, manner and body language (35%); mastery of language which includes fairly accurate grammar, articulation and vocabulary (15%); and system or careful and methodical organization of ideas (15%).

The national winners will be awarded a Voice of Leadership trophy and a cash prize worth P50,000 for the grand champion, P40,000 for the first runner up and P30,000 for the second runner up. Their respective schools will also receive the same amount in support of programs that will help propagate leadership among the faculty and staff.