Young Leaders, Leading the Young: Employee Volunteers Share Joy at Mondelez Philippines

In Sampaloc Site II Elementary School in Paranaque, Mondelez Philippines employees guided students in a cooking contest to prepare nutritious snacks and learn about proper nutrition in the process.

Today’s young adults get a lot of criticism for being the “Me” generation. They are tagged as a generation with a blind focus on their personal wants. There are a lot of arguments on this issue but one thing looks clear. This laser beam focus on doing only what defines them is not such a bad thing. Especially when the one thing that does define them is helping other people.

Over at Mondelez Philippines – the Company formerly named Kraft Foods, Millennials as they are called are also making a name for themselves. Not only as employees but as Leaders involved in the business of helping others.


Millennials in Motion. Effervescent Crystal Balili is a Millennial and serves as an Assistant Manager under the Sales department. In an age when other people are just beginning to find out what they want to do in life, Crystal is not only doing well at work. She’s also created a great reputation as a leader of the Company’s volunteer activities. This, Crystal does because it’s what defines her. She says, “Being a leader makes me feel in-charge of my life, allowing me to push my limits and challenge myself more, also not allowing anyone to dictate who I have to be.”

In Paulina Manalo Elementary School in Pateros, employees played “patintero” with the students, creating joy for both kids and adults alike.

Last October 21, Crystal and two hundred other Mondelez Philippines employees trooped to the Company’s five adopted Joy Schools in Manila for an annual activity tagged Global Volunteer Month. Part of a global Company initiative, the event encouraged employees to support its common commitment to promote healthy lifestyles and overall well-being. The volunteer activities this year focused on nutrition education, access to fresh food and promotion of active play.

Bringing Joy, Creating the Future. The Joy Schools program is Mondelez Philippines’ community partnership with six public elementary schools – 5 in Manila and 1 in Tacloban. The schools benefit from nutrition, teacher training and facilities improvement intervention programs to help create joyful learning environments and transform the schools into the Top 10 in their cities. The interventions are aimed at being sustainable, to help the students fight present hunger through a feeding program, and future hunger through the quality education they receive today.

At P. Manalo Elementary School in Pateros, Crystal and her team mates from Sales helped students re-learn traditional Filipino games to get kids moving and become more active. Elsewhere, fellow Millennial and Mondelez Philippines employee Ralph Geronimo served as a volunteer leader for the activity at General Vicente Lim Elementary School in Tondo. There, employees helped students learn nutrition facts through a quiz and prepare snacks through a fun cooking competition.

For Ralph, who works for the Company’s Logistics department, this is the 3rd time he’s served as a volunteer leader. He shares though, that the experience just keeps getting better. “More than my professional development as a leader, I think being part of our Company volunteering activities helps a lot in helping me promote our great place to work. Where there is a sense of work-life blend. We see work as a genuine part of life shared with colleagues we consider as close friends.”

Two hundred Mondelez Philippines employees held five simultaneous volunteer events for its annual Global Volunteer Month. These were held in its five adopted public elementary schools in Manila, collectively called the Joy Schools.

Sharing Joy all Year Round. Ralph, Crystal and other employees of Mondelez Philippines receive great opportunities to be leaders of the Company’s volunteer events. Every year for Global Volunteer Month, employee leaders are called upon to ideate, plan and implement initiatives for the schools.

Crystal admits that while serving as a volunteer leader benefits other people, her Millennial self also benefits from the experience. “Mondelez Philippines allows me to work with people from all walks of life.  I believe understanding more people and personalities and knowing how to handle them, can help one to be a more effective leader.”

Ralph agrees, ending. “Being a volunteer leader definitely made me better at influencing other people. It also reminds me that every time I do something, I do it with a positive and impactful purpose.”

Millennials, the “Me” generation. They may have different ways of doing things but the intent remains the same. A focus on being the best they can be, and a drive to do something for others. Not only to be of help, but to be a better person for themselves.

For more information on Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools program, visit