Meet the WYA Warriors: The Summer Interns of Batch 2019 in New York!


As summertime arrives in New York City, World Youth Alliance welcomes the second batch of 2019 interns under the Global and North America program. From June 3rd to August 16th, 15 new interns from around the world will come to acquire a deeper understanding of WYA’s philosophy on the dignity of the human person.

Other than going through the Certified Training Program and Advocacy Training, the interns will have the opportunity of attending several events at the United Nations. This year’s batch will be working on different major projects such as the Human Dignity Curriculum, the International Summer Camp, FEMM, and other annual events.

When they are not busy defending human dignity, you can find them near the local pizza places and running around Central Park. Read on to learn more about them:

Alfons Riera

Alfons Riera is currently studying a degree in Industrial Engineering in the BarcelonaTech (Polytechnic University of Catalonia). He is taking part in a research project on 3D Metal Printing. He has run some charity projects and has taken part in the South Bronx Educational Foundation summer program. He is strongly interested in science and innovation. His hobbies are tennis, skiing, running and team sports. He is passionate, open-minded and talkative. He loves learning from new people and cultures since this enrichment is one of the best ways to improve society from a perspective based on human dignity.

Blanca Fernández

Blanca Fernández graduated with a degree in Primary Education at the C.E.U Cardenal Spínola. Before this, she earned a degree in special education. Aware of the challenges of postmodern society and the importance of a well-rounded educational system has for the development of all students, she believes that teaching is arguably the most influential job for years to come. Blanca has worked in numerous schools performing any duties that would allow her to gain educational experience and learn from different teaching models. Sociable and enthusiastic, Blanca loves travelling and engaging in cultural exchange.

Bruno Sosa

Bruno Sosa graduated from law school at the Universidad Catolica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. It was here that he developed his interest in politics and social science. He learnt from a young age the importance of education, hard work and the desire to continuously improve. Full of passion, Bruno decided to travel the world to develop himself globally. “I am really excited about collaborating with the rest of the WYA team, completing the CTP and Advocacy training and seeing my Advocacy skills come into fruition,” Bruno shares.

Joel Arzaga

Joel Arzaga is a lawyer and a university lecturer who obtained his Juris Doctor and Humanities degrees from the University of Asia and the Pacific (Philippines). He is Vice-President for Legal of the Alliance for the Family Foundation, a non-profit organization which fights legislation that are harmful to the family, to human dignity, and to human rights. He has also been involved for several years in the formation of young people and other volunteers in the Diocese of Novaliches. He is passionate about law, philosophy, religious studies, music, and travel.

Wabia Karugu

Wabia Karugu is currently a fourth year student undergoing her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at Strathmore University (Nairobi, Kenya). Her passion is in Human Rights Law and Public International Law. As the Kenyan Ambassador of ‘Gender Equality’ of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth Kenya, she wishes to continue to make strides in matters related to human rights. “I am excited about meeting and learning from young adults across the world that share the same values as her and seeing how the dignity of the person can be implemented on a micro individual level and macro international level,” Wabia shares.

Maria D’Amico

Maria D’Amico is an International Relations student in Anahuac Querétaro, Mexico. She is also a member of Sinergia where she organized programs for fellow students and learned from high ranking members of society. She has been involved in United Nations events like the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women, as well as organized and participated in several UN Models. When asked why she joined the WYA, Maria answered, “Because I believe that every person needs to know and understand that they and others have human dignity, I believe that’s the only way we can improve as a society.”

Gabrielle Silberman

Gabrielle Silberman is a senior at Boston College. She studies Applied Psychology and Human Development, Theology, and Managing for Social Impact. She recently returned from studying abroad for a semester in Rome, which allowed her to continue personal formation in a global setting. Gabrielle is passionate about intercultural exchange, justice, and equity, and looks forward to working with the WYA on upholding and uplifting the dignity of all human life. When asked what she is most excited about, Gabrielle said “I am excited to be working with other passionate people from all around the world, especially during International Summer Camp!”

Sebastián Luna

Sebastián Luna currently studies at the Anáhuac University of Querétaro in the International Relations field. He is a member of a leadership group at the university focused on public policies. As he finishes university, Sebastián has a great interest in Human Rights with International Security as a specialization. Working with WYA has been very positive for his professional and personal goals since the organization has been a massive influence in his career choice. When asked what  he is most excited about, Sebastian shared, “Meeting new people, building relationships all around the world and improving my professional skills.”

Gerard DeAngelis

Gerard DeAngelis is a double major in Business Management & Leadership and Philosophy at Boston College. He is also starting his second year as the Vice President of Boston College’s Pro-Life Club and is the Co-President of Boston College’s the Sons of St. Patrick. Gerard is most excited about WYA’s unique integration of philosophy in the Certified Training program into its approach in broaching the ethical issues of our time. “I look forward to being able to not only learn new ways of looking at the world but also how to authentically incorporate these into the running of a non-profit.”

Erin Abely

Erin Abely recently completed her first year at Boston College, where she is pursuing undergraduate degrees in philosophy and music. She serves as co-president of the Boston College chapter of the St. Thomas More Society and is a dedicated member of jazz and opera ensembles. She is beyond excited for the opportunity to serve WYA in its mission of cultivating respect for the dignity of the human person.

Zachary Zimmer

Zach Zimmer finished his first year at Benedictine College and is planning on majoring in Biology and Philosophy on a pre-medical track. A Colorado native, he enjoys spending time with his family and in the outdoors. Being the oldest of 7 children, he developed a strong sense of responsibility and commitment to hard work, leading him to become involved in various leadership positions throughout the years. He works with FEMM to develop a holistic understanding of the human person, and he hopes to carry this understanding into a future career in medicine.

Colette Lanzon

Colette graduated in May 2019 from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts. She majored in Theology with a concentration in American Catholic Studies. Colette became active with human rights advocacy in high school and continued through college as a member of Fordham’s Right for Life club. When asked on how she plans to contribute to WYA’s mission, Colette shares: “I plan to contribute to WYA through my enthusiasm and dedication to the cause.” Also, she hopes to continue to flourish professionally in promoting the dignity of the human person.

Brittney Lyndon 

Brittney is currently taking a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Catholic Culture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She desires to uncover the truth about reality, ways to expand her worldview, and eventually work in a profession in which she can develop plans and execute actions that promote the welfare and dignity of the human person. This has led her to serve in migrant farming communities in Washington State, the slums of India, and minute pueblos of Peru. Whether it’s reading the CTP, setting up for a party, or engaging in philosophical discussions after hours, Brittney is in WYA for the human person to be known, cared for, and led into a flourishing and fulfilled life. 

Tionna Solomon

Tionna Solomon is an incoming college freshman who will be attending Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, Georgia) in the fall as a psychology major. Prior to this, she attended Cristo Rey New York High School, a school that prides itself on the phrase cura personalis (or care for the entire person). Throughout high school, she has dedicated herself to community service and mentoring. In college, she hopes to join an organization that immerses itself in diplomacy and advocates for human dignity. She is passionate about volleyball, reading, anime and U.S History.

Leyana Funez

At 17 years old, Leyana is one of the youngest interns for this year’s summer batch. She recently graduated from the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (TYWLS). This fall, she’ll be attending the College of Mount Saint Vincent with a Major in Nursing. She chose to work at WYA because she enjoys discussing major political issues. “At WYA, I’ve learned the importance and the connection between human rights and human dignity and how to protect them,” Leyana shares. She thanks WYA as she now advocates for the rights of each citizen and hopes to spread her knowledge to others.  

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

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

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