Javier Reyes (2019) . . . a senior student at Merrimack College, located in North Andover, Massachusetts. The college was founded in 1947 by the Order of St. Augustine, with an initial goal to educate World War II veterans. I am double majoring in Theology, and Ethics and Political Philosophy with a minor in Catholic Studies. I am having a tremendous opportunity to do my college internship at the United Nations headquarters in New York, under the office of the Augustinians International. My time in the office is from June 1 – 30, 2019.
Why do I want to do this internship? I envision my dream career not in a cubicle, but working directly with people. I want to become a bridge that connects the problems and needs of a community to the possible solutions and opportunities for them. Human dignity has been diminished by discrimination, poverty, work exploitation, and physical and psychological violence. Additionally, the health and education systems, women and children face injustice and inequality. Human dignity is also negatively impacted by the climate change issue which affects the most vulnerable and poor. In short, human rights are violated and diminished in our communities. For this, I know that the United Nations and Augustinians International are suitable places to learn about these actual problems. Thus, during this internship I want to attain accurate data, statistics, history, and future solutions for these issues.
What do I hope from this internship? I hope to improve my communication and public speaking skills, to develop critical thinking and reasoning when applying my theological and philosophical education, and to analyze the problems previously mentioned. I would also hope to gain new methods for sharing ideas, and to improve my attentiveness and grasp of the main messages of conferences and books. Lastly, I hope to learn about the art of debate and to be able to explain, and apply the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But besides these short term goals, my greatest desire is to have a transformation of mind and spirit every day, and to become a better human.
As an intern I have developed three goals : first, reflection : a weekly reflection on my challenges, weakness, strength, and learning along with a brief description of the conferences I will be attending. Second, learning about advocacy and networking : acquiring specific tools, methods, and systems on how to become an advocate, and learn to create professional networking.
Third, life application : incorporate my learning and understanding of the United Nations into my college and professional life. Next semester I will attempt to work with Lazarus House Ministries, a Non-Profit Organization in Lawrence, Massachusetts. A program that “Works to break the cycle of poverty by providing food, clothing, work preparation, and housing to those in need “.
Br. Jack Tierney OSA, (2017-2018) an Augustinian seminarian. I feel called to do ministry at the United Nations because I have always been passionate about politics. During my undergraduate degree in political science, I learned how to be a keen observer of international politics. As a member of Augustinian religious life, I believe that our faith can and should inform the global common good. Catholic NGO’s participating at the United Nations have a unique opportunity to witness Gospel values to national representatives and to promote Catholic Social Teaching. We engage in dialogue with stakeholders to discover areas of mutual benefit in areas such as migration, social development, gender equality, and human rights. As an intern for Augustinians International, I learn how our local Augustinian communities coincide and support UN initiatives. I also advocate diplomatic solutions of peace and justice to policymakers from all over the world. The challenges of the modern age are complex; we provide a vision of equal rights for all people informed by our Catholic faith.
AUGUSTINIAN YOUTH REPRESENTATIVES
Read the blog used by the Youth Representatives from Lehigh University
Keenan Overa (2018-2019) The world is a complex place, and information technology coupled with globalization is only increasing the meaning of this idea. Yet despite this, and all its shortcomings, Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked that the United Nations “represents man’s best organized hope to substitute the conference table for the battlefield”; and it this idea that gives purpose to our work.
This is my first year joining as a new Youth Representative for Augustinians International, and I’m beyond excited to get started. NGO’s are continually rising in their importance in the UN system, and they give a voice to the individuals and groups whose needs and cries often are too easily ignored. NGO’s carry forward the principles and values that often aren’t present enough in the world, and they occupy a very special, but also a very vital place in international politics. Having heard of the Augustinians’ past work with ongoing human rights crises, such as in Congo, and working to further educational development, the Augustinians are just one of many NGO’s working tirelessly to improve the world. I take pride in being able to join this effort, because I believe in the capacity of humanity to work together. Diversity should not be grounds for conflict between cultures and groups around the world, rather our differences should form the foundation for curiosity, learning, and understanding. I look forward to working with Fr. Dueweke in pursing this vision. The challenges ahead are but a reminder of the necessity of work that the Augustinians, along with other NGO’s, strive to achieve in an effort to change this world for the better.
Anastassiya Perevezentseva (2016-2018) A student at Lehigh University studying International Relations and Political Science, expected to graduate in 2018. Have interned for various NGOs and volunteered in the areas of education and interfaith dialogue. Favorite part of working for the NGO: Being able to learn at briefings about various issues that concern the international community and then be able to connect them to my Catholic faith and Augustinian philosophy. I was most proud of connecting the NGO with Caritas Internationalis and learning about their experience at the United Nations. My plan for the future is to continue studying international relations at a graduate level.
Emma Dillon (2017-2018)
I am a second year student studying Political Science and Journalism at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA. I am highly interested in global citizenship, gender equality, health, international peace, and the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. I have strong passion for traveling and immersing myself into new cultures, and one of my biggest dreams is to visit every continent. I was raised 25 miles away from one of the most diverse hubs in the world, New York City. Ever since I was young, I have been exposed to many different cultures, religions, traditions, and languages. My experiences growing up have shaped me into the person I am today by illustrating the beauty in people’s differences. Catholicism has always been a huge part of my life. In high school I became a Youth Group Leader at St. Augustine Church and found great joy in being apart of something that had a special meaning. Religion has been one of the leading forces in understanding my purpose in life. I feel extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to be apart of Augustinians International. I hope to serve as Augustinians International’s voice at the United Nations and promote and defend our common goals, like universal education and basic human rights. I want to learn to negotiate international boundaries and develop my own sense of personal, social, and corporate responsibility to the global community. I am looking forward to my experience with Augustinians International to help me make my mark-no matter how big or small-in the world.
Michael Horgan (2016-2017) I am a masters in Accounting student at Lehigh and I will be working in public accounting as an auditor. Prior to Lehigh, I spent my entire academic career at Catholic schools. My high school was a Spiritain school and it gave me an appreciation for, and interest in, Catholic philosophical thought and missionary work. As a UN Youth Representative for Augustinians International, I have been exposed to an Augustinian perspective on many of the pressing current events that have helped shape my processing of, and views on, such events in a positive and constructive way. I have learned from the work of the Augustinians that serving the vulnerable through basic rights such as education and shelter can cause great impacts in disaster-stricken communities. I have also learned through the various UN briefings that I have attended that there are common themes among the voices pushing for change and a better world and that there are so many courageous and innovative acts that started on a small scale but have collectively caused huge positive impacts. Being able to represent this common voice from a Catholic perspective has challenged me to think harder and apply more the teachings and philosophies that I have learned growing up.
John Powers (2001-2002)
Graduated from Merrimack College with a B.A. in Philosophy. Also worked at St. Rita Center for Immigrant & Refugee Services and Tolentine Soup Kitchen in the Bronx. Where he is now (2012): living in Be’er Sheva, Israel, with his wife Kathryn (pictured) studying at the Medical School for International Health.
Beatrice Przybysz Frey (2002-2003)
Graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Business Administration, Business Management and Psychology. Also worked at Siena House and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in the Bronx. Favorite part of working for the NGO: Being present at the installation of Switzerland as a UN Member State and meeting Mrs. Nane Annan, wife of then-Secretary General Kofi Annan. Where she is now (2012): Living in Alexandria, VA, negotiating peace treaties among her own cute but strong-willed dictators.
David Lemay (2003-2004)
Graduated from Merrimack College with a B.A. in Political Science and History; from Lesley University with an M.A. in Special Education. Also worked at St. Nicholas of Tolentine School as a physical education teacher. Favorite part of working for the NGO: All the amazing people that I was able to meet while attending the briefings and being able to have such an international perspective on so many domestic and global issues. Where he is now (2012): teaching 7th grade English in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Carmen Targa (2004-2005)
Sara Pheasant Reed (2005-2006)
Graduated from the University of Georgia, with a BA in Spanish and Sociology. Also worked as a Spanish teacher in 6th-8th grades and coordinated the after-school program at St. Nicholas of Tolentine School in the Bronx. Favorite part of working for the NGO: The amazing meetings that I got to sit in on! Where she is now (2012): Traveling the world with her husband David (pictured); after living in Australia and New Zealand they are now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and plan to spend several months in Asia.
Lauren McNamee (2007-2008)
Graduated from Ursinus College with a B.A. in Business Economics and Spanish. Favorite part of working for the NGO: attending briefings at the UN and learning about hot topic issues.Where she is now (2012): working in client servicing and marketing for an asset management firm in Philadelphia.
Brian Roe (2009-2010)
Graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in English and Political Science. Also worked at St. Rita Center for Immigrant & Refugee Services in the Bronx. Favorite part of working for the NGO: gaining exposure to the incredible breadth of issues tackled by the NGO community, learning about those issues, and networking with members of other NGOs to see the projects they were undertaking with respect to those issues. Where he is now (2012): pursuing a degree at Fordham Law School in New York.
Hannah Brencher (2010-2011)
Graduated from Assumption College with a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology and a Concentration in Mass Communications. Favorite part of working for the NGO: Playing a role in planning the orientation day for the girl delegates coming to the UN for the Commission on the Status of Women! It was so powerful to see girls from all over the world talking about the issues and talking about how technology has really changed our advancements as a gender in society! Where she is now (2012): Working as a Communications Associate for Save the Children in their media and communications department.
Susanna Seibert (2011-2012)
Graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Peace & Justice. Favorite part of working for the NGO: Working with friendly, enthusiastic representatives of other religious NGOs; being in touch with Augustinians around the world through the newsletter.