Meeting More Champions for Human Dignity: The Summer Interns of Batch 2017 in New York!

As sunlight beckons summer back into the streets of New York, World Youth Alliance warmly welcomes another wave of new interns for WYA’s summer internship under the global and North America program. This June, over 12 new interns coming from the Philippines, Lithuania, Colombia, and USA will be undergoing the 3-month internship where they will acquire a deeper understanding of WYA’s philosophy on the dignity of the human person.

Aside from completing the Certified Training Program (CTP) and Advocacy Training, the interns will have the opportunity to attend events at the United Nations as well as develop essential skills such as project management, network building, and more. Bright-eyed and ready, this year’s summer batch will be working on different major projects such as the Human Dignity Curriculum, FEMM, the International Summer Camp, Emerging Leaders Conference, and other annual events.

When they’re not nose deep into their assigned tasks, you can find this group quenching their common thirst for adventure by subsisting on local pizza, speed walking through the boroughs, and power napping in transit of the subway system. Read on to learn more about them:

Andres Felipe Carillo

“I hope to further expand my knowledge on how WYA works and learn more about human dignity and how to advocate for it. I also hope to leave my mark by contributing as much as I possibly can and leave here with lasting friendships and connections,” shares Andres. Currently studying International Economics and Public Policy at Georgia State University, Andres originally hails from Colombia. He attended the Emerging Leaders Conference back in 2015 and after meeting the WYA staff, he has been hooked by the quality of the people and WYA’s mission ever since. As of now, Andres is helping a team of youth in Colombia on their efforts to open a WYA national chapter.

Antanas Bernatonis

“My godmother, Gudrun Kugler, suggested that I learn more about WYA. When I looked into it, I understood that I had to be part of the organization,” says Antanas when asked about his WYA story. Currently, on his last year in school in Lithuania, Antanas looks forward to working on the Migration panel event, WYA Birthday Gala, English to Lithuanian Information translation and WYA social media management during his internship. During his spare time, he loves to travel a lot, read books, play basketball, spend time in nature, volunteer, speak at conferences, and inspire others to live a meaningful life.

Geoffrey Leong

“I look forward to working as a camp counselor. It means that I will have the opportunity to make a direct difference, as opposed to being behind the scenes.” Geoffrey, a junior at Grace Church High School in Manhattan, relates his love for travel to the work he looks forward to doing with WYA. “If I’ve learned anything from my time traveling, sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.” When he isn’t traveling, Geoffrey shares that he also spends his time on a myriad of hobbies as a self-taught acoustic guitarist, biology tutor, filmmaker, and logo designer. 

Jacqueline Arnold

Majoring in International Relations at Boston College, Jacqueline originally came from a small town outside of Baltimore, MD. “I’ve always been passionate about education, as I believe that every person deserves a well-rounded education that enables the discovery of one’s talents and, most importantly, is oriented toward the pursuit of the good and beautiful so that we may lead excellent lives,” she shares when asked about her personal advocacies. When talking about what attracted her to WYA, Jacqueline remembers hearing about the organization from a friend and eventually researching about its mission on her own. “The more I read the philosophical texts that WYA has compiled that outline the dignity of the person (in the CTP training), the more I fall in love with the organization.”

Katie Greenwood

Katie studies Economics, Political Science, and Theology as a senior at Benedictine College, Kansas. When asked about her interests, she shares, “I’m extremely passionate about my faith, and I hope to continue growing in my spiritual life. I also love reading and encountering people in sincere and genuine relationships.” Her first encounter with WYA was when Anna Halpine came to her school during her freshman year. “I remember being so impressed and motivated by her that I wanted to do more. So, when BC offered to teach the CTP curriculum my sophomore year, I was one of the first ones that signed up!” Katie hopes to spread the WYA mission to as many individuals as she can, and personally grow spiritually, academically, etc. during the duration of the internship.

Lorie Cruz

An advocate of human rights and a lover of arts and literature, Lorie is a local of Laguna, Philippines. She studies Mass Communication at San Pablo Colleges and is excited to spearhead the conceptualization of WYA’s promotional video. When asked about WYA, Lorie tells us, “I really loved how they stand for the dignity of the human person and their dedication to work with the youth in making them realize that they are worth it and that they have the dignity that nobody can take away.” In her spare time, Lorie loves to read and watch documentary films, especially on World War II and human trafficking.

Michael Kenney

Currently studying English and History as a junior in Mount St. Mary’s University, Michael considers the right of life and the right to quality education as his personal advocacies. An interesting fact about him is that he has six siblings, one being the Director of Operations for the WYA North America office who eventually introduced him to the organization. “I am really excited about the CTP, collaborating with the rest of the WYA team, and seeing my marketing and communications proposals come into fruition,” Michael shares.

Mimille Guzman

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Mimille graduated with a degree in Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific just last year. She began her WYA journey as a regional intern at the Asia Pacific office in 2015 and she is now excited to continue developing the Human Dignity Curriculum as a global intern. When asked about what attracted her to WYA, she says, “I have always admired the kind of trust they have on young people and the determination they have to translate their beliefs into tangible and practical trainings and projects.” In her spare time, Mimille loves to run, read, write, and gush over dog photos on Instagram.

Patrick Conant

“I believe that each person has intrinsic human dignity, and several issues, such as human trafficking, unjust war and violence, and the discrimination of migrants and refugees are inherently opposed to that dignity. I believe that every human life must be respected and celebrated at every stage,” Patrick replies when asked about his personal advocacies. Currently studying History and Political Science at Franciscan University, Patrick will be working on several tasks for the International Summer Camp, as well as other tasks for the WYANA office. “My goal is to push myself and grow in humility, as well as to learn more about the defense of human dignity through various projects and training programs.”

Ryan Hodge

Ryan is currently a Business Administration major, with an emphasis on Finance at Pepperdine University. His earliest encounter with WYA was all the way back in the fifth grade as the youngest participant of the first summer camp. Now as an intern, he hopes to create the best possible experience for the incoming campers and to help create activities that he would have enjoyed. Ryan likes golfing, tennis, and reading during his spare time. A fun fact about him is that he plans on naming his firstborn child “Kanye”.  

Theresa Allen

Hailing from New Jersey, Theresa is an Information Technology and Informatics senior at Rutgers University. She first met WYA when she attended the International Summer Camp as a camper in 2013. “WYA changed my life. It taught me (and continues to teach me) how to tangibly act on the belief that humans are dignified persons. 4 years later, I want to give back to this incredible organization.” When asked about what she looks forward to the most for the internship, Theresa responds, “I hope to be stretched and challenged – to learn more about myself and the beliefs I hold. But I’m especially excited to make friends from all over the world! I love hearing life stories from others and learning about their favorite foods.”

 Veronica Leach

Hailing from Bowie, MD, Veronica finished a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University and is currently taking her Masters in Public Health at George Washington University. As a current FEMM intern, she will be writing a White Paper about “Ovulation as a Sign of Health”, organizing the medical management seminar, and helping create the pending FEMM courses for teens. Some of the things she loves doing are learning, reading, working out, and public speaking. An interesting fact about Veronica is that she is also a certified U.S. Capitol tour guide in Washington, D.C.

World Youth Alliance is now accepting applicants for the third batch of the internship program in the 6 regional offices. Click here for the application deadline and to download the application form. Email wya@wya.net for inquiries.

Follow their journey with WYA this summer on WYA’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram .