A Filipino heads world youth alliance

A once-shy kid, Lord Leomer Pomperada was prompted to run for class officer in high school. Sans the intricacies of student leadership, he knew he couldn’t let anyone down when he won the position. Little did he realize this was just the impetus to his journey of leadership.

At the end of his secondary education, he served as the Student Council president. Come college, he pursued a degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, where he eventually became the president of the Corps of Diplomats, the professional organization of his degree program. He also contributed as a news writer for the Benildean Press Corps, all while volunteering to teach out-of-school youth in his free time!

His first encounter with the World Youth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that supports and nurtures the dignity of each human person, was at a Millennium Development Goals conference in Manila in 2010. He immediately signed up as a member and became an intern after graduation in the Asia Pacific arm in Quezon City. After several years, he became its president and now, he is on his seventh and final year.

Photographs courtesy of Lord Leomer Pomperada
Worldwide contingent The youth delegates of the 17th International Solidarity Forum (2019) at the World Youth Alliance global headquarters.


Multidisciplinary officials Rubbing elbows with Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia (center), Permanent Observer Of The Holy See To The United Nations, WYA Director of Advocacy Sofia Piecuch (second from left) and officials from the Path to Peace Foundation during the 2022 Path to Peace Gala in New York.


Moving forward Pomperada conducted art therapy sessions for children in affected communities of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban with fellow Philippine Youth Ambassadors.


Authentic immersion Filipino cultural night at the World Youth Alliance global headquarters.


Enjoying greeneries  Lord Leomer Pomperada in Central Park, New York.


Valued opinions The youth leader speaks at the 2016 Global Youth Trends Forum in Taipei.


Lord at the  UN The WYA President at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


HEAR YE, HEAR YE The advocate speaks on Youth Integration for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during a side event of the 56th Commission on Social Development in 2018.


FAMILY FIRST (L-R) Younger brother Teodor, parents Merlyn and Leopoldo with Lord at St. Joseph Cathedral, San Jose de Buenavista in Antique after the Christmas Mass.


FUN IN TAIWAN With World Youth Alliance members at the 2018 Global Youth Trends Forum in Taipei.


SIGHTSEEING Spending time with fellow youth panelists at the 2017 Lebanon Dialogue Initiative Forum in Byblos.

The team participates directly in the affairs of the United Nations, European Union and Organization of American States. Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders!

A believer of continuous education, he has never stopped learning. Lord obtained a Diploma in Professional Event Management at the School of Professional and Continuing Education at his alma mater.
He likewise finished programs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the United Nations Institute for Training in Research, a collaboration between Geneva and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain.
Just last year, he was recognized with the 2021 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas. “This recognition is humbling and motivating — a reminder that young Filipinos overseas are capable of pursuing their dreams and using their talents to make a difference in the world,” he imparted.

Among the cities he has visited throughout his life of service, his favorite would be Rome. “I love the people and there’s also so many beautiful churches and great food. I love gelato!” he exclaimed.
When pressured, he takes a break — for a few minutes, an hour or even a day. He engages in quiet time and prayer or takes a walk in the park. During the pandemic, he has discovered a passion for fitness. In less than a year, he has lost over 45 pounds and counting!

TEAM BUILDING Lunch with fellow staff members and interns at the World Youth Alliance global headquarters


Today, he sits as part of the board for the Ten Outstanding Pupils and Students in Antique, his provincial roots.

“We recognize outstanding elementary and high school students in Antique. We also provide leadership training programs for young people and community outreach projects with our partner barangays and schools,” he shared.

We recently chatted with Lord to hear his thoughts on leadership, the youth and continuing involvement with his community:

On most admired leader:
I admire Evelio B. Javier, our provincial hero in Antique. He fought for freedom and the restoration of democracy. Our youngest governor, he entered politics when he was just 29 years old. His leadership and sacrifices inspire me to be proud of my roots as an Antiqueño and give what I can do to my country.

On essential leadership traits:
Courage and integrity. We need more leaders who have the courage to pursue the truth even if it’s unpopular and may cost them their reelection. I also wish we had more leaders who led with integrity — those who aren’t afraid of the truth and to stand up for what they believe in.

On memorable experiences:
One of my most memorable experiences was being the keynote speaker for the National Family Conference in Kenya. Despite a 24-hour travel with no rest in between, all of the tiredness disappeared after the talk when many of the attendees approached and thanked me for my presentation and our work at the World Youth Alliance. We also visited the safari and tried many of Kenya’s culinary offers. I had such a great time and Kenyan hospitality is one of the best I’ve experienced.

On his own book:
You’re Never Too Young to Lead is a collection of personal anecdotes containing my thoughts on how to grow into a global youth leader. In this book, my first ever, I answered questions commonly asked by young people I have met, detailing my journey to leading WYA, practical insights on effective networking, successful fundraising, and advice on building small but healthy habits that contribute to excellence.

On advice to global leaders:
Invest more in the youth. Investing in youth will pay dividends in what we contribute to our shared goals and authentic development. I also call upon our global leaders to promote human flourishing through governance that is grounded in respect for human dignity, solidarity, and the common good, and ensures that each person has what he or she needs to thrive.

On message to the youth:
Never underestimate your power to make a difference in our world today. Don’t just network — make real friends instead. There are many other young leaders who are there to help you. Lastly, be proud of where you come from and your humble beginnings. Don’t forget to give back to your community.

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