As part of the Centre-in-China program, Centre College Grissom Scholar Digna Rosales Cruz ’20 (Brooklyn, New York) interned during the fall semester at the Shanghai Renewal Center, an organization committed to serving populations experiencing poverty in varying capacities by making every day needs available. The company also focuses on developing more sustainable support to alleviate the effects of poverty and homelessness in Shanghai.
Throughout the internship, Rosales Cruz wrote grant proposals and taught English to individuals who were already, or in the process of, re-entering the labor force after participating in the organization’s job training and residency program.
“As a sociology student, I was the most uninformed about Chinese culture, and I took this opportunity to learn more about the country through language, academic coursework and my experiences as an intern for the center” she said. “My experiences at Centre as a student and Bonner leader have helped me centralize my professional and personal interest on human rights issues, and this particular internship provided an opportunity for me to engage with an underserved population, learning more about the significance of cross-cultural support and intercultural agility when addressing international human rights issues.”
Rosales Cruz’s previous internships in a variety of communities helped her prepare for this opportunity in a unfamiliar community and country.
“My experience as a volunteer with the Bonner Program allowed me to recognize the value of understanding the community I was serving before determining how to best contribute to the goals of the center,” she added. “As a student, Centre has encouraged me to be persistent and creative in the ways I understand societies and the complexity of poverty.
“Overall, my experience at Centre has given me the confidence and ability to serve communities by equipping me with theoretically understanding and hands-on experience in tackling social inequities,” she continued.
Rosales Cruz said her study abroad experience in Asia has galvanized her love of travel and engaging in different aspects of culture.
“My semester in Shanghai has encouraged growth beyond a professional capacity, and for this, I am grateful,” she concluded. “My time in Asia has provided me with the opportunity to grow emotionally and intellectually, and I hope to continue cultivating the skills necessary to be an efficient public servant.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
December 7, 2018