Volunteer Profile: Riza Magbitang
Riza Magbitang is a Philippines RISE Volunteer since 2014. She is currently a Product Development and Regulatory Officer in an agrochemical company in Manila.
When and how did you first hear about Pueblo Science?
In 2014, my labmate (Jade Ang) introduced me to Pueblo Science; at that time, they were in need of volunteers who could fill in as instructors in one of the training locations just outside Metro Manila (Taytay Rizal).
At the RISE Workshop in Taytay Rizal, 2014. (Riza is in the front row, second from right)
What volunteering activities have you done with Pueblo Science?
Every year since 2014, I volunteer as instructor for Rural Initiative for Science Education (RISE) in various locations in the Philippines. I also try to connect Pueblo Science to people or institutions who could serve as local partner.
At the RISE Workshop in Davao City, 2017.
What attracted you to this cause?
A lot of people perceive Science and Mathematics as difficult subjects not because it actually is, but just because sometimes there are limited ways of demonstrating abstract concepts for the students to completely understand them. Hence when I first joined Pueblo, I was impressed with the kits that they've developed; they made science accessible and enjoyable for those communities that don't have sophisticated science equipment.
What inspires you?
It inspires me to know that there are people and organizations such as Pueblo Science that endeavors to uplift science education in those areas where it's needed the most. By making science accessible to younger individuals, it also helps create a generation that can think outside of the box: these are our future problem solvers and change makers.
How has the volunteering experience changed you?
Volunteering in Pueblo Science has helped me improve my confidence to speak in front of the crowd. Also being able to travel to different places in the Philippines, and meeting people from all walks of life is a very inspiring experience.
At the RISE Workshop in Iloilo City, 2016.
Why do you continue to support Pueblo Science?
I continue to participate in Pueblo Science activities mainly because I believe in its cause. And because it is my way of giving back to my country: to share my time, skills, and knowledge in empowering teachers (and consequently their students too). To help uplift science education, to facilitate better understanding and to encourage them to use it in improving their lives.
Participating in Pueblo Activities every year, is something I always look forward to.
Teaching about Polymers at the RISE Workshop in Ilocos Norte, 2019.
What else do you want people to know about you?
When I was a little kid, I wasn't familiar with careers in science that I can pursue.
And when it was time to choose a program in the university, I stubbornly followed my instinct (and applied for a Chemistry program), and I'm glad I did. It wasn't an easy journey, but it's definitely worth it.
I hope more youths would consider a career in science, and hope they become passionate about using it in doing something that's useful for their communities.