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Fairfield University Senior Covers Pope's Visit For Digital Street Team

Allanah Dykes will be covering Pope Francis' visit to New York City.
Allanah Dykes will be covering Pope Francis' visit to New York City. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Allanah Dykes knows a thing or two about social media.

The Fairfield University senior and social media guru is one of 50 college students and recent graduates across the country chosen to be a member of a “Digital Street Team” by @PopeIsHope.

Dykes said she was humbled to be selected for the team.

“I knew it was a very tough competition,” Dykes said. “I knew there were great submissions and lot of awesome content creators, but I had faith and I interacted with the team throughout the (application) process.”

Dykes will be on the street Friday in New York City for the Pope Francis' visit interviewing others and posting their responses on Twitter and Instagram — and possibly live-streaming the event through the broadcasting service Periscope.

Dykes plans to get to Central Park as soon as the gates open at 11 a.m. The pope is scheduled to travel through the park to greet thousands during a procession before he attends a 6 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden.

“I know it's going to get very crowded, very fast,” Dykes said. “I’m hoping to get as close as possible.”

Dykes also may use Periscope, a new social media site that allows users to become their own broadcasters, sharing live, unfiltered video with the world.

“It would be a great opportunity to show the world who does not have opportunity to be there," Dykes said. "Hopefully they feel like they’re there as well.”

Back on campus, Dykes has been working with the Fairfield University media team to interview students on campus about the pope’s visit and what spirituality means to them.

“It’s just been a good experience engaging with others,” she said. “I love knowing what’s under the surface.”

The highly selective street team project is sponsored by the Magnificat Foundation and Aleteia, a Christian faith network, according to the university.

Participants submitted a variety of digital and social media focused on the theme of #GoodIsWinning. Dykes’ winning entry was a blog entry about how her relationship with her aunt and grandmother influenced her spirituality.

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