Fall at WYA North America

Welcome fall 2008. It has been a couple weeks since we have updated the blog, mostly because we were in transition. All of the summer interns have packed up and left, and we had a couple wonderful weeks when all of World Youth Alliance’s International Staff came here to New York. Our directors and directors of operations flew in from Brussels, Nairobi, Mexico DF, and Manila and spent a couple of weeks doing team building exercises, planning strategy and having late night discussions over delicious home cooked ethnic foods. Sadly, they packed up and headed out last week. But it wasn’t long before the WYA house was crowded and bustling with new activity as all the new fall interns moved in and the next season began.

Already we have been busy. This internship is shaping up to be eventful and packed with laughs and late nights. We welcomed two new North American interns, an intern each from Africa and the Asia Pacific and, for the first time ever, two interns from the office we are beginning to develop in Lebanon which will be our Middle East office.

We have certainly hit the ground running. In the past week WYA staff and interns attended several events including a reception for the launching of a film project promoting democracy created by the US State Department, a dialogue about faith and reason between New York writers and a service led by the Holy See Mission to the UN which featured speaker Ban Ki-moon – Secretary General of the UN. Our North American Director, Shannon Joseph, was able to speak with Secretary Ki-moon about the World Youth Alliance, and at the other two events we mingled and chatted with prominent New Yorkers including journalists, members of government, writers, teachers and representatives of other organizations. World Youth Alliance members were quite a hit at all the parties, being invited for meetings and further events (and even a couple of dates!) by those we met. I personally had the pleasure of meeting some writers and editors of New Yorker and First Things magazines, which are two of my favorites. I tried, unsuccessfully no doubt, not to gush too much when I spoke with writers whose columns I read regularly.

All told I would say things went very well as this internship gets going. We are going to keep the momentum going in the next couple weeks with our upcoming events including our New York Adventure scavenger hunt (read about it here and register for it here), our upcoming Omani Photo Display, movie nights, a Halloween party and much more. Look for us in the halls the UN too.

Casey Downing – World Youth Alliance