@PopeIsHope: Fairfield Senior To Cover The Pope’s NYC Visit
When Pope Francis makes his historic visit to New York City on September 25, Fairfield will have its own representative “on the street” to cover the event and gather stories. Allanah Dykes ’16 was one of just 50 college students and recent graduates across the country chosen to be a member of a “Digital Street Team” by @PopeIsHope, a special project sponsored by the Magnificat Foundation and Aleteia, a Christian faith network.
Participants submitted a variety of digital and social media focused on the theme of #GoodIsWinning, and were chosen from applicants all over the U.S. Allanah, who is majoring in communication and politics in the College of Arts and Sciences, submitted a blog entry about how her relationship with her aunt and grandmother influenced her spirituality. (Read more)
Over the next two weeks leading up to the Pope’s visit, Digital Street Team members will gather and highlight stories of faith, love, and compassion and share them—particularly with the Millennial generation—in the hope of demonstrating that #GoodIsWinning, despite a turbulent world.
Next Friday, September 18, Allanah will interview students on campus about the Pope’s visit, what spirituality means to them and more. Then, on Friday, September 25, she’ll be on the street in NYC, interviewing others and posting their responses on Twitter and Instagram.
News@ spoke to Allanah:
How has the meaning of “Jesuit-educated” evolved for you?
Of course when I first came to Fairfield I heard about “men and women for others” and the need for both action and reflection in what we do. Things can get a little crazy with school work and my internship and remaining connected with my friends and family, so sometimes it’s hard to do the reflection. In many ways, my blog (Double Shot of Chic) is my way of stopping, taking time and reflecting on the world.
As far as being a woman for others, I really learned this through my family—especially through my mom, my Grams, and my aunt. Both my Grams and my aunt passed away last year, and it was a hard time. Both of them were really faithful women. One of the biggest lessons these women have taught me is that “can’t” is never an option. You have to have something to believe in, or life will bog you down. For me, this way of being is very much about being Jesuit educated.
How did you get involved with @PopeIsHope?
I’ve always been a big proponent of social media and social movements, so I immediately jumped at this opportunity when I heard about it through the University. Even though I am a Christian, I was drawn to the fact that @PopeIsHope never specified that applicants had to be religious. I loved the idea that the citizen journalists would be able to capture the good in everyday people and hopefully spark a positive movement on social media surrounding the Pope’s visit to the United States.
What does Pope Francis mean to you?
Last semester, while studying abroad in London, I had the chance to spend Easter break with my friends in Rome. It happened to be Holy Thursday. Everywhere you turned there were people from all over the world sharing this experience together. I heard that Pope Francis went to a prison to wash the feet of 12 prisoners. That’s what Pope Francis means to me as a person. No matter your race, religious or economic background he accepts all with open arms. That acceptance can really change your way of being in the world. I really feel that at the end of the day we should all be driven by either faith, hope or love.
What will you be doing for the @PopeIsHope campaign?
I will be using my social media platforms to essentially tell a story about how #GoodIsWinning. I love writing, so I’ll be covering everything on my blog Double Shot of Chic leading up to the Pope’s visit as well as a wrap-up after he leaves. I’ll also be documenting my journey into New York City using Twitter and Instagram to cover the Pope’s visit. So don’t forget to follow @allanahjd!