So you’ve read and signed the WYA Charter, but you wonder — what comes next? Where can you learn more about WYA? How do you find like-minded peers? When can you start the grand business of defending dignity?
Fret not, for here are the top ten paths you can take to jumpstart your WYA journey!
1. Sign up for the free Certified Training Program
The Certified Training Program (CTP) is a seven-chapter text of philosophical readings that elaborate WYA’s definition of dignity. It tackles huge ideas like freedom and solidarity, and features notable figures in history like Nelson Mandela and Viktor Frankl. It’s a pretty great read that explores what ‘personhood’ really is.
Plus, when you complete the CTP, you instantly unlock cool opportunities in your WYA career — such as #4 and #8! See what our accredited members have to say and browse these helpful tips for tackling CTP.
2. Join the WYA Camp
Determined to make your summer more than just a vacation? Then the WYA Camps are perfect for you! In 10 days or less, you get: (1) a CTP crash course integrated into fun outdoor activities; (2) awesome cultural events like movie nights and international food and dance; and (3) irreplaceable memories with your fellow campers!
Presently, WYA members can apply to our camps in New York, the Philippines, or Kenya. Read about our campers’ experiences from the International Summer Camp, the Asia Pacific Summer Camp, and the Africa Furaha Camp.
3. Participate in the ELC
The Emerging Leaders Conference is held every year to empower members in each WYA region. With a globally-relevant theme, the ELCs are specially tailor-fit to address local social issues through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops. In three days or less, participants interact with high-profile speakers, debate international policy, and build strong youth networks.
4. Apply for a regional internship
What better way to immerse yourself in WYA than the three-month Internship Program? Interns earn the opportunity to head local projects, represent WYA at events or conferences, and conduct speaking engagements in schools and universities for recruitment. If we’re a snug fit for you, check out these handy tips for applying and tips for preparing for the internships!
In need of more details? Check out Job’s experience, Miko’s reflection, and Adit’s story. Also, once you’ve done regional, you can go international! If you haven’t yet, meet our current fantastic New York interns.
5. Watch the WYA Film List
If movies excite you, you’re in luck because your next marathon is on us! Make popcorn, kick back with friends, and prepare to be incredibly inspired by our WYA Film List. We’ve written about inarguable classics like Schindler’s List (1993), Life is Beautiful (1997), Children of Heaven (1997), Hero (2004), Les Choristes (2004), and Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) — all stunning works of art that dissect and challenge what being human truly means.
6. Submit an entry to the MIFF
Appreciating is nice but creating is even better — this is why WYA annually recognizes short films by young directors at the Manhattan International Film Festival (MIFF). Send in your work for a chance to have it screened in New York City in front of a global audience! Our distinguished jury panel always values stories that explore and explain the human condition.
7. Refer your school for the HDC
The Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) is an educational program for K-12 students that allows them to learn about sexuality in the context of themselves as persons with dignity. Previous North America intern Brother R. Thomas-Martin Miller neatly summarizes how the HDC achieves international objectives for sex ed and how it’s the best holistic approach available.
Cool fact: the HDC is also a great touchpoint for future WYA advocates, which is how Kin-Z came to New York for an advocacy internship! Help us bring HDC to more kids — all you have to do is email us to recommend your grade school, and our regional team will approach you to get the ball rolling.
8. Open a WYA chapter
If you’re CTP-certified and energized to go the extra mile, why not set up a chapter? WYA is present in a lot of cities globally, but it isn’t nearly enough — we are in a state of constant growth, and we welcome opportunities to reach more youth through you! Get started with the help of this membership drive toolkit. Starting your own chapter is a unique leadership opportunity, and you get to pioneer local projects or events that are relevant to your university or community.
Hesitant? Be inspired by how our members did it.
9. Give a gift to support our work
No contribution is too humble to forward the mission of promoting human dignity. Our global work is made possible by small kindnesses (from hearts like yours) that pile up over time. Even young people can give a gift, shop online, or offer a run for WYA.
Read about the lives you’ve changed through your unwavering support.
10. Invite friends to join WYA
Of course, the best way to get involved is to get more people involved! It takes less than five minutes to tell a friend about WYA and encourage them to sign the charter. It’s definitely merrier when there’s more of us discussing literature, appreciating films, and campaigning for life. Share these personal reflections and staff stories to your peers, so they can see WYA’s impact for themselves and hopefully craft their own WYA journeys.
Whether you get involved in one way or in all ten, congratulations! Your important effort is fully appreciated. Defending dignity is never easy, but making a real difference always takes grit and hard work. Welcome to WYA. We’re excited to see you around as you pave your WYA way.