Hinsdale South grad has a vision for helping
Ryann Howard has taken advantage of traveling opportunities through different program, most recently traveling to Spain with The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:02AM
Mature beyond her years sums up Ryann Howard pretty accurately. The 20-year-old Hinsdale South graduate’s vision for outreach to the disadvantaged, as well as her knack for acknowledging/honoring veterans of foreign war, has been one of her calling cards. Last year, the Loyola University sophomore, received The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.
Q: The Benjamin A. Gilman program is designed to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. What is your game-plan to best execute this goal?A:
One of the ways I plan to support this is through reaching out to other financially challenged high school and college students to encourage them to consider a career in international travel and language instruction as a bridge between peoples of the world. The better we communicate with each other, the stronger each nation can become, which makes our world stronger.
Q: While growing up, what were some of the influences that shaped your work ethic to develop such a powerful vision for service? A:
My mother has always been an inspiration to me. She modeled a strong work ethic and tenacity with my schooling and work life, and taught me to always pay it forward through supporting others in my community and around the world.
Q: In your spare time — if you have any — what are some of the hobbies that keep you balanced? A:
I love to spend time with friends, whether it’s walking around, watching a movie, checking out new restaurants and shops, etc. It is a way I balance myself, but when I want alone time, that’s when I turn to music and reading.
Q: Have you had a chance to return to Hinsdale South to inform young preps about ways they can up the ante on involvement in prime causes that need additional strength in numbers to thrive?A:
I plan to contact some of my teachers to arrange to visits in late spring or early fall when I am back (from Spain). My goal in doing so is to inspire high school students who might think global study and service are out of their reach. I’ll be sure to let my “mentees” know that my service to Special Olympics and other causes played a role in my receiving study abroad awards like the Gilman program.
Q: Can you describe what your work ethic entails?
A: I worked several jobs to start saving money for Europe and college because that mattered to me more than gossiping and going to the mall. Also, people should think about how big the world is and how many opportunities they have to explore it and learn from it. They should really make the most of what the world has to offer while they can to improve themselves and others, and from there form a stronger idea of how they can improve the world in their future.