WYA North America Welcomes Summer Online Interns

June 15, 2021 – For WYA North America, one of the highlights of the past year has been the online internship program. When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, WYA North America quickly moved its internship program online, resulting in 4 online interns in 2020 and 2 more in the beginning of 2021. While we have certainly missed our in-person interns and look forward to reopening the internship program at our New York office, the online internship has played a critical role in the successes of the past year, and the flexible format has had the unexpected benefit of allowing talented young people to participate in the program who would otherwise have been unable to do so.

This month, WYA North America has welcomed four new online interns for the summer. Meet Mary, John, Marietta, and Sofia!

Mary Sorenson


Mary Sorenson is from Northern California, USA, and is entering her senior year at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. She has a passion for the outdoors and has even been trying her hand at surfing! Mary says, “I am very excited for this internship. I am so honored that I can play a role in developing a culture that is open to respecting the human dignity of every person.”



John Esser

John Esser is from Chino Hills, California, USA, and goes to school at Thomas Aquinas College in Northfield, Massachusetts. Asked what drew him to the WYA internship, John shares, “I consider American patriotism and being a good citizen of your country to be a significant virtue that ought to be fostered throughout your life. In this day and age, there is so much confusion about how we should foster that virtue with so many conflicting opinions being present in our leadership. I’m excited to be an intern at WYA because I consider the importance of human dignity and Intrinsic human rights to be a pillar of the American Constitution that ought to be defended.”

Marietta Mortensen


Marietta Mortensen is from Lander, Wyoming, USA and is a rising sophomore at Thomas Aquinas College in Northfield, Massachusetts. She is considering a career in international law and diplomacy. Marietta is “…very excited to be working with WYA and…looking forward to this chance to learn from so many talented young people who are passionate in their defense of human dignity.”



Sofia Sanchez


Sofia Sanchez is from Houston, Texas, USA and is double majoring in International Studies and Communication at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. In her free time, she loves to take walks around campus and check out all of the different museums in Houston. Sofia explains, “One of the reasons I am super excited to be working with WYANA this summer is the opportunity to develop the skills needed in order to facilitate discussion across both sides of the aisle. I believe it is important that we strive to build community!”