As a teacher by profession, Commissioner James Ceasar Ventura believes that proper upbringing of the youth is vital to nation building – such upbringing should encompass not only classroom education, but also the wide spectrum of lessons readily offered by and learned through civic participation and community immersion.
Hence, aside from leading the graduates of Mariano Marcos State University (Batch 2014), he is known for his active participation to student clubs and organization. Since his first year, he has become a member of his College Student Council, and was elected as president in his senior year. His strong leadership has led the College of Teacher Education, out of eight student councils in the said university, to be conferred the Best Student Council Award during his term.
Also, Commissioner James is an active volunteer-alumnus of Enactus Philippines, the national chapter of a “worldwide community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world.” Since his freshman year, he had led community-based development projects geared towards improving the economic well-being of marginalized sectors. In 2013, serving as Team Leader, their team was declared champion in the Enactus Philippines National Finals, and represented the country in the world cup at Cancun, Mexico.
In 2014, he and his fellow Sirib Leadership Camp alumni founded Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association Inc. which served as the main avenue of the Ilocano youth to participate in government and non-government youth activities. Despite the dearth of SangguniangKabataan, the Ilocano youth became more proactive in safeguarding the welfare of the their sector, contributing to community building by organizing various barangay- and town-based volunteer activities, and creating a more sustainable platform for youth participation and dialogue with the local government.
As founding president, Commissioner James rallied over 15,000 youth, making SIKA Inc. as the largest volunteer group in the Ilocos with local chapters in every school, town, city, and barangay. Presently, Commissioner James leads their group in convincing the LGUs to establish Local Youth Development Offices. A milestone for this campaign is the creation of the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO), which is now the youth affairs division of the provincial government with funds for policy development, operations, and conduct of youth-related programs.
Alongside serving as President of SIKA Inc., he also worked as consultant, and eventually, as executive director of INYDO. The office’s flagship youth program named “Sirib Express” was conferred the Galing Pook Award for 2015, a recognition for the best local government initiatives on good governance in the country.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner-at-Large of the National Youth Commission, he became part of the 11th National Youth Parliament held at Iloilo City, under the Committee on Youth Participation.
Concomitant to serving the youth sector, Commissioner James is pursuing his Master’s degree in Education, and Bachelor of Laws.