Fairfield University student chosen to document Pope’s visit.

The senior will travel to New York City on Friday, September 25 to be part of an exclusive digital street team documenting Pope Francis’s first visit to the U.S.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 10, 2015) — Allanah Dykes ’16 entered a national contest to be invited to help cover the upcoming visit of the Pope to the U.S. by writing a blog post and using a hashtag. It seems that those few words have opened a door for her to the experience of a lifetime.

Dykes applied to be a member of the “Pope is Hope Digital Street Team,” a group who will be creating original online content to document Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. The contest, created by Aleteia, a Catholic news web site, asked applicants to create a piece of content that promoted the idea that “good is winning,” and post to their own social media platforms using the hashtag #GoodIsWinning. The contest drew over 400 applications, and after weeks of waiting, Allanah received the exciting news that she had been chosen to be one of only 30 members of the team.

“When I got the call I was ecstatic!” said Dykes. “I had to keep quiet for a week until the winners were officially announced in a Huffington Post article, but since then I can’t stop smiling and spreading my excitement on my blog Double Shot of Chic. To be chosen for this team is a true honor and I’m so happy that I get to represent Fairfield University."

Dykes’ official title is Citizen Journalist, in which she will be using her personal social media platforms to tell a story about how #GoodIsWinning. This involves pictures, interviews with people who are in New York to see the Pope and personal reflections. Additionally, during the Pope’s visit she will be taking over Fairfield University’s social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

"It's really important for the Church to work hard to be relevant to young people.,” said Jason Deal, Executive Vice President for Strategy, Aleteia USA, Inc. “The most authentic way we can do that is to create platforms like this campaign that are born from — and designed and directed by — team members like Allanah."

Though a practicing Christian, Allanah said she was drawn to this opportunity because the contest rules never specified that the applicants have to be religious. “I love the idea that the citizen journalists would be able to capture the good in everyday people and hopefully spark a positive movement surrounding the Pope’s visit to the United States.”

You can follow Allanah’s adventure to see the Pope at @allanahjd on Twitter and Instagram. On Friday, September 25, she will also be taking over Fairfield University’s social media platforms - @FairfieldU on Twitter, Instagram and live on Periscope, as well as the university’s Facebook page.

Dyke’s involvement is the latest in Fairfield University’s efforts to promote the Pope’s visit. They have joined the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) #IAmJesuitEducated campaign by contributing written pieces to their Medium blog. The University has organized a number of on-campus events leading up to the Pope’s visit, including faculty panels and discussions, and a “Pope Watch” event where students can watch live coverage.

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Posted on September 15, 2015

Vol. 48, No.

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