10 Years in the Making: My WYA Internship Journey


I’ve always considered myself a dreamer. I dream of graduating university, traveling the world, learning a new language or two. But most importantly, I dream of a life where I continuously pursue and live for my purpose. As a college student, my mind often wanders to the “what ifs” after graduation. This was further deepened by the fact that I’m still in online school, after almost two years now. Midway through my senior year, I was in need of guidance and direction. It was when I looked inward and reignited my passion for advocacy work that everything seemed to click. I had been monitoring the WYA Internship page for a while and I finally felt that it was the perfect time.

I have been a member of the World Youth Alliance for almost 10 years now. It started with a fateful day when I was a new student in my high school, picking out my school club. Two of my friends and I chose WYA not knowing anything about it, but were excited nonetheless. I was immediately hooked with how my ates* in the organization were so passionate about their work. It felt like a family — a safe space where everyone can learn and grow together. I have since completed my Certified Training Program, attended two summer camps as a facilitator, participated in the Emerging Leaders Conference, and helped out in various local and regional events. 

Fast forward to today where I am currently an online intern for the WYA Headquarters. While I always dreamt of going to New York and immersing myself in the culture there, the current pandemic has made me opt for an online internship instead. This has not limited nor diminished my experience by any means. On the contrary, it has made me feel all the more connected with the WYA staff and members all over the world through the activities I’ve attended and helped manage. 

I had so many fun tasks in my internship which included having a membership drive, managing online events, sending and replying to emails, and writing blog posts. My personal favorite assignments were attending the UN Commissions and helping out in the International Solidarity Forum. I’ve always wanted to participate in these events and WYA has made it into a reality.  My Internship journey has been incredibly meaningful to me as a young adult navigating through life. It is undeniable that the world has been greatly changed over the past few years. My internship has taught me to be flexible and to adapt to the needs of the new normal because our passion and purpose should be able to transcend past these roadblocks. 

I’m nearing the end of my senior year as I am writing this blogpost. Thoughts on my future career and pursuing further studies have been nerve-wracking. However, I rest easy knowing that this internship has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to power through life and remain steadfast amidst its challenges. For a few years now, I’ve considered pursuing a career in diplomacy. Who knows, maybe that could change in the next few months. Knowing that my purpose can grow and evolve over time, is a very welcome thought. Throughout the course of my internship, I can now well and truly say that WYA has helped me solidify my purpose — a northern star to guide me. Although life has its twists and turns, I look forward to the next chapter of my life with hope and excitement. 

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Published: April 2, 2022
Written by: Faye Ysabela Ong, a WYA Headquarters intern from the Philippines

*Ate means older female relative or respected friend  in the Filipino language

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