A Quest for Adventure and Knowledge: Meet the Winter Interns of 2019


The World Youth Alliance Headquarters welcomes the first batch of interns for 2019 hailing from Mexico, the Philippines, Colombia and Kenya. Five young enthusiastic individuals are ready for a life-changing experience of being at the WYA headquarters. They brave the cold New York winter as they join their fellow dignity defenders.

The highlights of their internship will include undertaking the Certified Training Program, as well as experiencing Commission season at the United Nations with 3 of the biggest Commissions coming up, namely the Commission for Social Development, Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Population and Development. They will also help organize the International Solidarity Forum, Manhattan International Film Festival, and 20th WYA Birthday Ball.  Read on to know more about each of our interns:

Sofia Soubervielle, Mexico

Sweet, smart, selfless. Sofia is a student in Universidad Intercontinental where she is pursuing her undergraduate studies in marketing. She has also been working for different non-profits in Mexico. She first met WYA through Pasos por la Vida at the 2016 March for Life. She became a member because she supports WYA’s integral view of the human person. She is excited to meet interns from other parts of the world who are passionate about bringing change to their countries. She hopes to learn as much as she can from WYA and share this information with other young people in her country so that she can encourage them to become members. When asked about her passion, she says, “I love photography, because when you take photos of people, you give them actual physical memories of the moments you shared with them and every time they see those photos, they remember and truly appreciate.”

Dardecs Villanueva, the Philippines

Driven, delightful, determined. Dardecs finished Accountancy in 2010 and Law in 2018 at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). He has worked as an accountant for almost eight years in Manila while studying law in UST. He is connected to the Universitas Foundation, Inc. based in Manila. Universitas is a partner organization to WYA and provides program activities and seminars for the formation of principled leaders who are competent, with stable moral character and well-formed conscience. It also provides training and internship opportunities for some of its fellows conducted within partner organizations, such as WYA. He joined WYA because he wants to learn and be part of its advocacy in protecting human dignity in all aspects of our society. He is also looking forward to new experiences through the internship, as this is his first time working overseas, attending commissions at the United Nations and living with culturally diverse colleagues. He is also enthusiastic about the Certified Training Program (CTP) because he is learning a lot about human dignity, history, philosophy and culture.  After the internship, he hopes to become a volunteer in WYAAP in its endeavors in the region through research and education and to introduce WYA as he reaches out to more young people in the region.  He is passionate about traveling to expand his horizons and to have a deeper understanding about people, history and culture.

Jessica Naval, the Philippines

Jolly, jaunty, jocular. Jessica has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, and a Minor in Digital Media Production. She was previously a Digital Marketing Officer at a non-profit organization in the travel and tourism industry before joining WYA. Her first encounter with WYA was as an international volunteer, during the preparations for the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. Despite not being able to attend, she kept in contact with WYA about the CTP and became a member a year later. She also did volunteer work with the WYA AP/NA office. When asked what excites her most about experience she says, “Getting out of my comfort zone and seeing how people at the headquarters are really passionate about what they’re doing.” She aspires to influence and inspire the youth to challenge the things that are happening in our society. As an active supporter of women empowerment, her goal is to nurture stronger and more confident women in today’s world through WYA’s core ideas. As a person who loves to travel, she hopes to leverage tourism and inspire future generations to take a global outlook while advocating responsible travel/development. “While traveling abroad has been made easier nowadays, taking responsibility of what happens – not just in our own cities or countries but also to the places we visit – can make a positive change in the world.”

Cynthia Maingi, Kenya

Courageous, cheerful, compassionate. Cynthia has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Conflict and Peace studies. She has worked previously under the procurement and grants department in the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Her first encounter with WYA was when she was on campus and she became a member because she wanted to support the mission. She is most excited about the opportunity to learn and the adventure of being in a completely different environment. Driven by her commitment to promote the dignity of the person through her work, she hopes to encourage more young people to join WYA. She believes that there are no limits to the innovation and ingenuity young people can achieve when given the right platform, through mentorship and proper training in the various fields they venture into.

Andrea Suarez Jimenez, Colombia

Activist, analytic, amiable. Andrea studied law at the University of La Sabana. Her deep interest in Constitutional Law and Human Rights led her to undertake internships at the Colombian Constitutional Court, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the National Legal Defense Agency of Colombian State. Andrea is passionate about two things, “The pro-life movement and youth leadership. Since 2012, I have been involved with defending the life of the unborn. Together with my friends, I founded a pro-life NGO 2 years ago, with the mission to train young people in juridical and scientific arguments in order to bring prolife discussions into academic spaces. We also teach them leadership skills and empower them to undertake new actions within their professions.” She came across WYA 5 years ago through her friends who told her about the organization and the CTP. She was most enthusiastic about being involved with the various trainings and engaging in WYA’s advocacy at the UN. She asserts that human dignity is the basis of human rights and when people understand this concept, society can warrant human life protection in every stage. It is her hope that soon, WYA’s approach to advocacy will be practiced in more international spaces and by more civil society groups in order to promote and defend human dignity. WYA’s Advocacy excites her the most as she plans to participate with the Choose Life Foundation in OAS General Assembly as an NGO. She is also currently undertaking the Fertility Education and Medical Management (FEMM) training. She plans to apply the knowledge she has acquired in international law and human rights in the effort to build a culture that values the human person. After the internship, she hopes to invite more young people to join WYA and to bring the CTP to her former university and her foundation.

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World Youth Alliance is now accepting applicants for the second 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 on WYA’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram .

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