Dominican young adults USA

Article written by:

Michelle Schultz
Ex. VP for DYA USA
Leader of OPYA, the Chicago Chapter of DYA USA

It all started when Sr. Gina had an idea. She collaborated with many people, and wanted a gathering of interested students to come and think it over. What was there to think over? We loved the idea! A Dominican Young adults USA group! It started off slowly in 2007. It was our test drive to see if we could try and keep in contact and plan for another meeting. It was a slow year but when 2008 came, we put our heads together again at Edgewood, and we met that summer. We made many decisions about the group, what our mission and vision statement would be, what we would do all year, and how this was going to work. We all realized what our major problem was: distance. Some of us are in California, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Florida, Ohio and even more places! However, we realized what was one of biggest strengths: distance! With this distance, we could cover more ground and help this group grow by reaching out to different groups of people in our home towns and Dominican colleges. So, even though this distance could be considered a hinderance, I also consider it a positive thing. The more people we can get interested and passionate about the group like we are, the better.

While we met and decided things about the group in 2008, there was about 20 of us. We all loved what we were doing, and were convinced that we could each go back to our hometowns and schools and make a difference by leading our own chapters of DYA USA. So far, it has been great! As leader of the Chicago Chapter, I can say that running your own chapter is difficult, but the interest and passion is here! Other chapters are under way too, and being part of something so much bigger than ourselves is very exciting. How many people can say they are members of an international and national group? It is pretty awesome and I've never felt so important. This is our chance to be a part of Dominican history, and bring all kinds of Dominicans together. This is the way that we are going to touch the lives of many and make our mark in History.

This has been a very wild ride. I started my love of the Dominicans at Trinity High School and at the High School Dominican Preaching Conference. Then, my love for the Dominicans grew at Dominican University at the College Preaching Conference, which led me to creating this group with my new friends from around the nation! It is pretty incredible to realize that we started something that is a new branch of the United States Dominican order, and part of an international movement with thousands of people! A couple of my new friends and myself are all part of the executive board for DYA USA. my specific job is to keep the group connected by any means of communication! It is a really fun responsibility, and I have enjoyed being a part of this movement.

For more information on Dominican Young Adults USA, please visit their website: http://dya-usa.org/