Two Newman University admission counselors, Georgia Drewes '10, '13 and Peter Paul Abella '13, attended the 2015 National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, Ind.
The NCYC is a powerful, biennial, three-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic high school students. More than 23,000 young people attended the 2015 NCYC in Indianapolis from Nov. 19 to 21.
The program included keynote presentations, prayer, workshops, Mass, and opportunities to participate in reconciliation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as recreational activities, concerts, and exhibits. A key component of NCYC is the thematic park, which is a blend of traditional exhibit booths with interactive areas featuring service projects, games, recreation, live musical performances, arts, and sports.
The overall purpose of the counselors' visit was to deliver the Newman University name to Catholic high school students.
"For some students, it was their first time ever learning about Newman University," Abella said. "Georgia and I were there because we were able to explain our story of why we chose Newman and what our experience was like."
Drewes explained, "There was a total of 17 Catholic colleges in attendance, with all three from Kansas participating as exhibitors. I think Peter and I were a good match for this conference, because we both attended when we were high school students. I went in 2003 when is was in Houston, and Peter attended in 2009 when it was in his hometown of Kansas City."
One of the key strategic benefits of attending the conference was to take advantage of the diverse and recruitable gathering of people from Alabama to Florida at one central location.
Although the trip was an admissions effort, Drewes and Abella were able to extend their reach to local ASC sisters and Newman University alumni.
Drewes said about the people she met there, "ASCs Sr. Crystal Funk, Sr. Bernadine, and Sr. Barbara Jean stopped by our table to say 'Hi,' so we took some selfies with them. Father C. Jarrod Lies, priest of the Diocese of Wichita, was also a keynote speaker and stopped by our table to chat for a bit. We met students who'd applied or been accepted for Fall 2016, students who'd attended our first-ever service camp at NU (back when Fr. Tatro was chaplain), and got to meet the organization responsible for the Newman Centers across college campuses in the U.S."
Drewes was impressed by the student attendees' eagerness and energy to raise the money needed to attend the event.
"You can tell they're on fire for their faith," Drewes said. "They can attend sessions about dating, going to college, and discerning their vocation, and there's a wealth of opportunity to go to Confession, Mass, and Eucharistic Adoration. They want to be there and make an impact, and it's crazy how it's grown over the years."