Kelsey Ryland, far right
"Stop and take in where you are right now," I told myself as I entered the White House for the first time. This summer, I was a policy intern with the National Network to End Domestic Violence in Washington, D.C.
At Seattle Pacific University, where I earned a degree in sociology and a minor in both women's studies and global and urban ministry, I became interested in ending violence against women. I was part of the club Sophia, which focused on women's issues within the Christian faith, and I helped plan SPU's first Violence Against Women Awareness Week.
After graduating, I worked with Americorps as a follow- up advocate in the Domestic Violence Unit of the Seattle Police Department and I’m now in my second year of law school at Seattle University.
My D.C. internship was a baptism by fire. Days were filled with meetings with coalitions and letter writing to members of Congress.
One day, my boss gets off the phone and says to me and the rest of the interns, ‘We're going to the White House.’ Our NNEDV team had been invited to a showing of “1 is 2 Many,” a White House Public Service Announcement on dating violence, featuring Vice President Joe Biden.
Of course, everyone wants to meet the vice president, and I almost lost my chance when Biden's assistants urged him to leave the PSA screening to get to his lunch with President Obama. Luckily, my boss, a former colleague of Biden's, jumped in and yelled, “One more! Joe, these are my girls!” The vice president's response? “Well, if these are your girls, then come here!” Biden embraced us, creating a picture-perfect moment. My brush with political prominence left me star-struck — We walked out of the room and started crying.
—Kelsey Ryland '08
Watch “1 is 2 Many,” featuring the president, vice president, and sports leaders at