There are a few reasons why you have to know Jay Jaboneta – especially if you do not know him yet:
Jay Jaboneta, is the Firestarter and the Chief Storyteller of the Yellow Boat of Hope, who has brought great impact in the lives of Filipino children to access their education, by transporting them from their homes by boats rather than swimming back and forth to school everyday.
Jay Jaboneta was one of the Yahoo! Philippines’ Pitong Pinoy (Seven Pinoys) awardees in June 2011 for his significant contribution as a modern day hero in his effort to send children to school safely by boat.
Jay Jaboneta was the first Filipino who appeared on a TEDx talk outside the Philippines!
Jay Jaboneta is the man behind HungryPeople, a website for leaders and other individuals who are hungry for ideas worth spreading. In fact, he even had the chance to interview Seth Godin, the marketing guru and one of the amazing authors I follow!
He definitely is someone you need to follow especially for his insights, his ideas and his next project involving social media change.
He is an “ordinary individual” who has extraordinary ideas that spread far and wide. You have to know him and if this isn’t enough yet, you have to read his story and watch his TEDx talk later in this post.
Get to know him more here on AMSDaily.
This is his story:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.
Jay: My name is Jay Jaboneta. I was born inCotabato City,Philippines (around 700 miles south ofManila). I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce Majoring in Management Accounting with a minor in Philosophy in Ateneo De Davao University. I am currently the Fire Starter and the Chief Storyteller of the Philippine Funds for Little Kids aka Yellow Boat Project. It was a project that started in late 2010 when I found out that there were children inZamboanga,Philippines who had to swim just to be able to go to school. My friends and I started a campaign that has since become a global movement that is helping children here in thePhilippines. I also do consulting work on social media for companies.
AMS: Growing up, did you always dream of becoming a social media changer, or being involved in many charitable causes?
Jay: I was always involved in extra-curricular activities in school. I was Editor In Chief of the English newspaper of my high school, graduated as valedictorian in high school and was a founding member and second president of the local chapter of the international student organization, Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), in college. I guess I did not intentionally set out to become a change maker. I just dreamed of helping make a difference. I grew up in Cotabato City and I was fortunate to be able to come to Manila and work in the Philippine capital and it has opened a lot of doors for me – I always believe that no matter how busy we are, we can make a difference in other people’s lives, we can help people even by just the little things we do every day, the random little acts of kindness.
AMS: Tell us about how you started the Yellow Boat of Hope?
Jay: The Yellow Boat Project started in late 2010 when I found out that there were children inZamboanga,Philippines who had to swim just to be able to go to school. My friends and I started a campaign that has since become a global movement that is helping children here in thePhilippines. It has become a symbol of hope for the country and possibly, the world. We named the first boat we gave to the community,New Hope, because we believe we are not just providing a vehicle that can ferry these children to school, we are providing them a source of hope and renewed optimism. The Yellow Boat Project is currently present in 3 communities in thePhilippines: Layag-Layag, Brgy. Talon-Talon,ZamboangaCity; Isla Mababoy, Brgy. Guinhadap, Monreal, Masbate; andLakewood, Zamboanga del Sur.
AMS: How about HungryPeople? Why did you start it?
Jay: HungryPeople is a personal blog on business, career management and business books that I started in late 2009. Unfortunately, because of all my activities, I have since stopped updating it and slowly transferring the content to my personal site at . I want to re-focus my efforts and writing on using social media for social change.
AMS: Being young and “chief” in almost everything that you start, where do you get your inspiration to do it?
Jay: I can’t exactly say where the inspiration comes from. I guess it’s a combination of many factors and elements – chief of which are the people who support me like my parents and my sister and my aunts and uncles and cousins and of course my many friends around the world.
The story in Layag-Layag and Isla Mababoy where children used to swim to school also touched my heart that we should help them who despite facing very difficult challenges still continue to fight for their right to learn.
God is my source of strength. I am not religious in the sense that I go to mass every Sunday, in that I pray the rosary everyday or that I do the regular confessions – but rather I believe I have a deeper relationship with God where I talk to him every day, I offer him prayers for family and friends, and that I truly live out the Christian principles taught to us in school. Some of my friends go to mass every Sunday but it seems they do it more because it is expected by society than because they truly believe that Sunday masses renew our faith to be able to face another week of work and challenges.
AMS: On January 20th, you were one of the speakers for the TEDx Montpellier, which as we all know is a very exclusive and prestigious honor for speakers/individuals who have made great impact in the lives of people. How did you get to be a speaker for TEDx?
Jay: My very good friend in the US, Rick Passo, introduced me to one of the organizers ofTEDxMontpellier, Magali Dutilleux, late last year (2011). I’m happy they found our project worthy to be shared on a TEDx event and specifically on TEDxMontpellier in southernFrance.