What happens when you put eleven young ladies from five countries under one roof for three months? You get impromptu lounge discussions on politics and culture, freshly-cooked dumpling soup and chicken curry, and weekday movie nights crying over Hachiko — and you easily realize that girls run the world indeed.
This particular set of ladies came to the World Youth Alliance Headquarters in New York City from St. Lucia, Thailand, Spain, the Philippines, and the USA, all with the intent to fully immerse themselves in the intense learning experience of the 12-week WYA Internship Program set against the background of the endless charms of Manhattan. Together, Cathy, Chadia, Dalia, Flannery, Kara, Kin-Z, Monica, Nerea, Parawee and Pauline are determined to forward advocacies like comprehensive women’s health, holistic sexual education, and socially relevant filmmaking.
Cathy Cano is a freshman from the Philippines, studying Global Public Health at New York University. “In light of the recent political climate that threatens human life here and at home, I joined the WYA internship program to understand the intrinsic dignity of the human person in a world becoming increasingly desensitized to the truth,” she says. Passionate about social impact, she looks to WYA so she can one day advocate for authentic development in her country wherever health and poverty intersect. Cathy enjoys traveling, visiting museums, and catching up with friends over coffee.
Chadia Mathurin is an author and serial entrepreneur from Laborie, St. Lucia. “I hope to play a crucial role in developing and promoting the Caribbean brand by creating avenues for other Caribbean artists, writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs to share the uniqueness of the Caribbean through a global platform,” she shares. With her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, she pursues her passion of fostering Caribbean and African development through her blogs, Caribbean Entrepreneur and African Entrepreneur. Chadia likes reggae music, entrepreneurship, and great art.
Dalia Clement is a Protocol Officer at the Department of External Affairs in St. Lucia, holds a first degree in International Relations, and hails from Soufriere. She came to WYA as an advocacy fellow to further her knowledge in human rights and diplomacy. “I’m passionate about the family,” she says. “WYA promotes the family as the fundamental unit of society where each person learns their dignity and the dignity of every other human being, and learns to live in solidarity and work for the common good.” Dalia enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and working with young people.
Flannery McGale studied Global Affairs and Environmental Conservation with a minor in Philosophy from George Mason University in DC. Originally from Pittsburgh, she was able to work for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute working with endangered animals, and is still passionate about nature and sustainable development. “From the moment I met WYA I have always been incredibly inspired,” she shares. “WYA is giving a voice to those who thought they had been silenced and loving those who we have been told aren’t worth our time, and that’s really beautiful to me.” Flannery is very much into modern art, philosophy, and cycling.
Kara Medina is a licensed psychometrician from the Philippines. She studied psychology at the University of the Philippines Diliman and worked for partnerships with Gawad Kalinga, a local non-governmental organization that advocates nation-building. She joined the WYA internship program to learn how developmental policies are decided on a large scale. “I care immensely about women’s rights and social development,” she says. “I like immersing myself in international discussions that reveal multi-faceted perspectives, and eventually bringing important takeaways back home and using them to make some real change.” Kara likes movies, bus rides, and peppermint mocha.
Kin-Z Francis is from Anse La Raye and graduated with honors in Political Science with International Relations from the University of the West Indies — Cave Hill. She believes young people have a fiery passion that allows them to go the extra mile. “I want to advocate for those who have been disenfranchised as a result of the disparities perpetuated by the cycle of deprivation that too often characterizes poverty,” she asserts. “WYA helps me to articulate that poverty is not a problem indicative of a particular country or region, but rather a global issue.” Kin-Z is fond of collecting artifacts/antiques, reading, and creative writing.
Monica Sowa is a junior at Seton Hall University majoring in Finance and Catholic Studies. A native of Garfield, New Jersey, she joined WYA’s internship program to better learn about and advocate for human dignity. She identifies strongly with WYA’s work in FEMM and the Human Dignity Curriculum, which teaches about dignity and health. “I am passionate about women’s rights because society has a misconstrued sense of what it means to be female and of what is best for women,” she says. “I believe that women should understand their value, worth, and capability.” Monica enjoys hiking, traveling, and reading.
Nerea Lopategui was born in Connecticut and raised in the Basque Country in Spain. She graduated from medical school at the Complutense University in Madrid, and worked for the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). She joined WYA to develop a profound understanding of the dignity of the human person and its impact on society. “I’m passionate about access to health and education for everyone, as I believe they are keys for people to give meaning to their lives,” she shares. “WYA forwards this through FEMM, which empowers women by educating them about their own bodies.” Nerea likes traveling, art, and tea.
Parawee Techapermphon studied social sciences with a concentration in international studies at the Mahidol University International College. Born in Bangkok and fluent in Thai, English, and Portuguese, she volunteered for the UN in various local conferences before working with WYA. She is convinced that the internship will help her learn more about how international NGOs work. “I personally care about social development and sustainable development,” she says. “I am very looking forward to be back in Thailand and develop the sense of respect and be a part of promoting human dignity there.” Parawee enjoys photography, travel, and languages.
Pauline Superable is a Multimedia Arts graduate from the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines. She joined the internship program to do her part in making a difference and speaking out for culture and advocacy. “Growing up, the media has exposed me to a lot of crime, injustice, and inequality that was happening in our country,” she shares. “I do think that the fight for human rights will always be an ongoing battle, but I also think that the youth, with their heart and determination, can change this.” Pauline is fond of history/war/science documentaries, online Creepypastas, and long road trips.
This diverse batch of ladies will complete their internship in April after having undergone introductory training in human rights philosophy through the Certified Training Program (CTP), working on projects such as the International Solidarity Forum and the Manhattan International Film Festival, and representing WYA in various networking events. The exciting, fun-filled experience of living with nine other enthusiastic girls is the generous icing on top of the cake.
WYA invites proactive and self-driven individuals (not limited to women!) under 30 to apply for the summer internship in New York City or in any of its regional offices. The main event of the summer batch is the annual International Summer Camp. Click here to review the requirements beyond the desire to promote human dignity and the commitment to create impact. To make a contribution for our interns, click here to give us a gift today. Follow their journey on WYA’s Facebook page.