Summer at BMC

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr College

A Postcard From: Kayla Schneider-Smith ’16

kayla_smith1Name: Kayla Schneider-Smith

Year: 2016

Major: Psychology, English

What’s going on? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! When I tell people I am interning at the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia this summer, I often receive blank and curious looks: not many individuals are aware of what “Interfaith” actually means. Interfaith, to me, is one of the most important concepts in today’s rapidly expanding global society. Interfaith work is essentially about bringing people from different religious and faith backgrounds together in worship, service, and dialogue so that they can better appreciate their differences and understand their similarities. The Interfaith Center coordinates programs for teens, college students, and adults that aim to expand individuals’ awareness of religious diversity in the area while building compassion and trust between communities. I am drawn to this sort of work because I love experiencing the shared sense of spirituality and humanness found within all faith traditions.

Two weeks ago I led a group of Christian high school students on an Interfaith Encounters week-long service-learning trip around Philadelphia, where we worked with various grassroots non-profit organizations during the day and visited different faith communities in the evenings, including Sikh, Baha’i, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist temples. I was absolutely blown away by the kids’ open-mindedness and willingness to engage with other religions. This trip deeply inspired me and gave me hope for the next generation of interfaith work. It is only through building relationships and getting to know others that we can live side by side with our fellow human beings in cooperation and love, and without fear.

So spread the word, and get involved! Learn more about the Interfaith Center by participating in an Interfaith Encounters Alternative Break that Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges often offer during spring break. Or visit our website, As the Interfaith Center’s long-loved motto encourages, Dare to Understand!

kayla_smith2How I heard about my internship: I myself participated in the Interfaith Encounters Alternative Break trip run by Bryn Mawr and Haverford during freshman year spring break!

Why I applied for my internship: I wanted to experience doing meaningful work for an organization I truly believe in, and meet others who are genuinely interested in faith and spirituality.


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