‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon apple scented candles. As temperatures drop and the sun begins to hide, it’s time to bid summer one last goodbye.
But for WYA’s Fall interns of 2018, it is the beginning of a new season full of vibrant opportunities and exciting new adventures. Hailing from Belgium, Brussels, Canada, Kenya, the Philippines and the United States of America, seven beautiful women are eager to make a difference in their respective fields while fresh out of college as interns at the WYA Headquarters in New York.
The World Youth Alliance Internship Program is an avenue for young people to actualize their desire to protect and promote human dignity through project management, network building and advocacy training. Interns will be able to gain professional skills working on WYA’s projects that are designed to strengthen each of their background and interest. WYA also offers an Externship Program for students who may be interested in gaining professional training but are not able to travel to WYA offices. Externs will work directly with their regional staff members while they are still on campus. This gives externs the opportunity to engage with others on a community-level and gain first-hand training wherever they may be.
Meet this year’s fall interns as they answer the question, ‘Why WYA?’
“I was drawn to the World Youth Alliance because even though I am passionate about helping people reach their full potential, especially through my background in nursing, I knew that I needed a deeper grounding in the truth about who we are as human persons as a prerequisite to truly helping people,” Kathleen shares. Kathleen Mawhinney is a founding member of WYA Prince Edward Island (PEI), which is located in the east coast of Canada. She has a background in community health and plans to take a Master’s degree in Philosophy to further strengthen her knowledge of the dignity of the human person. For leisure, she reads Catholic philosophy, swims at the beach, and takes long walks at the park. Kathleen believes that “WYA is a totally unique organization because it insists that we need to fully understand ourselves as persons before we can make positive change that impacts the world.”
Fresh from graduating with a degree in the Humanities, Mariniell Clarete (or Nelly for short) envisions herself working in non-government organizations and international aid agencies that uplift individuals out of poverty. This 20-year old from the Philippines says, “WYA has a unique approach of incorporating the youth in global policy discussions. They do so by educating, empowering, and training young people to think of higher ideals that affirms the dignity of the person by providing a platform where they are able to articulate their understanding knowledgeably.” When asked about the internship, she said that “feeding yourself with the fundamental philosophies about the nature of man is a personal necessity, however it is also through practical experiential learning that we get to authentically understand the situation in depth. I believe that the WYA internship program effectively does both.”
One of our interns all the way from Kenya is Pamella Oddotte. She joined the WYA internship because she believes that WYA has “a unique area of concentration – human dignity and also the fact that it is an organization for youth led by youth.” Pamella graduated with a degree in International Studies and Law from Egerton University with an educational certification on contract law from HarvardX and on International Human Rights Law from Universite Catholique de Luovain. She was first introduced to WYA in 2014 and has served as a regional intern, camp counselor, National Committee member and organizer/facilitator for various WYA events. Her passions in life include advocacy, human rights, international development and music.
Clare Rahner is a recent Theology major graduate from Cincinnati, Ohio. “WYA seemed like the perfect first step after graduation – an intersection of attention-demanding issues, cultural relevance, and sound philosophy with which to support it all.” Clare answers when she was asked about the internship. “Since I have many interests, it is freeing to work in an environment that lends itself to exploring multiple facets of human life. I’m hoping to develop projects that support arts and culture–benchmarks of human flourishing.” she adds. Clare practices a culture of life that fosters integral human development through her love for the arts. She is a fantastic Irish dancer, theatrical performer and outdoor nature-lover. She also hopes to pursue an outdoor career such as fishing or photojournalism.
“I joined the WYA Internship Program because WYA’s affirmation of authentic human dignity through the celebration of culture inspired me to work among international youth, and experience how their perspectives are uniquely shaped by their culture yet speak to the transcendent desires and needs of the human person.” Lillian says. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Lillian Quinones graduated from Hillsdale College with a Biochemistry major and Journalism minor. “As a future medical student, I also am concerned at the rise of euthanasia and assisted suicide worldwide, and came to the WYA regional office in Brussels, Belgium, to study this issue.” she adds. Lillian is dedicated to keeping the human person at the heart of the medical profession. In her free time, she also loves to run, spend time outdoors and try new food.
Stephanie Seghers is a Belgian intern with an educational background in both Healthcare (Master in Physiotherapy) and Management (Master in General Management). Stéphanie has been captivated by the bioethical issues that healthcare workers face, the laws related to biological and medical research and health issues in public policy. When asked about WYA, she responded saying ‘I see WYA as a very comprehensive program, with the unique combination of qualitative training, hands-on practice, and the opportunity to have real impact, through global and regional projects.” Stephanie hopes to develop projects that bring together women and young people from all around the world to allow reflection (based upon objective information), open debate and the opportunity to express opinions. She believes that forming young women and men in the understanding of ‘the human being’ with its intrinsic dignity is the fundamental basis of serving a true and just society.
Currently taking up her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Asia and the Pacific in the Philippines, Mary Grace Cruz or MG for short, has a passion for art and service. She hopes to share her knowledge, experience and effort through meaningful and creative means. When asked about WYA, she answered “I want to learn more about WYA’s perspective and approach in defending human dignity and applying it in my future professional work specifically in contributing to solve issues in the marketing industry that degrades and disregards human dignity.” Furthermore, she says “I believe that WYA gives the proper training to remind everyone that work should always be a means to respect dignity which motivates me to better serve the human person.” On her free time, MG enjoys travelling, wall climbing and photography.
WYA loves to work with young people from around the world to build a culture that puts the dignity of each human person first. WYA believes that building just and free societies involves a proactive youth that support person-center policies and proposals in both the international and local settings. WYA invites young people (under 30) to be a part of this global family by applying for its internship program.