World Youth Alliance coming to Benedictine

Julia Keeney, Regional Director of Operations for The World Youth Alliance North American Branch. Photo by World Youth Alliance.

By Sam Smeltzer, The Circuit.

The youth of the world must defend human dignity.

This was the belief of 21-year-old Anna Halpine when she started the World Youth Alliance (WYA) in 1999.

The WYA will be holding their yearly Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) at Benedictine College on Oct 27-28.

This is the first year that the North American branch of The WYA will be holding the conference outside of New York City. This is the first year in The WYA history that a branch is hosting multiple conferences. ELCs will be hosted in North Dakota, Ohio, California and three in Canada.

Regional Director Weronika Janczuk and Regional Director of Operations Julia Keeney will be on campus during the two-day event.

Janczuk and Keeney aim to help the attendants to form themselves into better leaders who defend the dignity of the human person.

This year’s theme for the conference is “Migration and Development.” All the ELCs around the world will be talking about this topic, but each will have a unique perspective based on where they’re from.

Keeney says that she wants to encourage students to think about our domestic needs as well as the needs of the world.

“People can take their faith and their holistic understanding of the person, and take that to the world at large,” Keeney said.

At Benedictine College, The WYA North America is partnering with the Seton Teaching Fellows Program, where recent college graduates work at Brilla College Prep public charter school in New York City and where they started a program called El Camino. This program helps young people who can’t afford religious education to take theology classes.

The WYA is holding their conference on campus due to their relationship with BC’s Dean of students, Joe Wurtz, and their new relationship with senior Katie Greenwood who interned with them this summer in New York City.

“The World Youth Alliance taught me that dignity is a concept that is vital to our world, but that is often a concept that is misunderstood,” Greenwood said.

Tickets to the Emerging Leadership Conference will be $15, but anyone associated with BC will only have to pay $5.

You can register for the event at: