"Learning how to belong has been a practice in observation and necessitated a willingness to be myself and speak up."

"[One of the most challenging experiences of the summer has been learning] the patience required to become part of a new community. When I first visited my site ... in ... Philadelphia ... I — was acutely aware that I was in a neighborhood that observed me as a stranger ... I began to understand what it must be like to be a minority in the areas where I am from it was incredibly lonely. That first walk taught me ... that ... I had never been alone in a place where I was a minority, and that I had been lucky to always be so comfortable.

"There is pressure in society to equalize, to minimize differences. I learned how to celebrate them."

Shannon Ryan '10
Pasadena, CA

Major: Psychology

Note: Shannon's internship was a result of her participation in the Bryn Mawr College Summer of Service 2008 program, a funded opportunity for students to live, serve and learn together in the Bryn Mawr community.

Drueding Center/Project Rainbow is a tangible expression of Holy Redeemer Health System's dedication to women and children. With the goal of ending the cycle of dependency, the Center offers transitional housing and support services to homeless women and their children, giving them the tools they need to live full lives and help them to achieve self-sufficiency.

Drueding Center/Project Rainbow was founded on the belief that the average shelter offers only a temporary solution and that homelessness is a complex problem with many contributing factors. The Center exists to address the multifaceted issues of inadequate education, unemployment, substance abuse, domestic violence and insufficient childcare, giving homeless families real hope for a productive, meaningful future.

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Shannon Ryan '10