When the Howard County Library was looking for people for its 15 Faces of Civility campaign, Ryan Swanson was an obvious choice. With his contagious grin, endless enthusiasm and positive outlook, “his personality brings out the best in people,” says his father, Phillip Swanson.
The civility rule Ryan read for the library’s campaign is “A stranger is a friend I haven’t met yet.’” That statement describes Ryan’s personality perfectly, says former President of The Arc, Joseph V. Murray, Sr., who recommended Ryan for the campaign.
His poster represents the rule, “Be inclusive.” “It’s that whole idea of acknowledging and including others no matter what their abilities or disabilities,” Murray says.
Now in his 20s, Ryan has a job and participates in the Community Opportunities for Recreation and Enrichment program at Howard Community College. He enjoys using the computer lab, going to movies, swimming and other recreational outings.
“As a parent, I used to feel there wasn’t a whole lot for adult children with disabilities to do that was enriching,” says Swanson of his son’s life before moving to Howard County. “But today, Ryan’s world is full of many social activities outside his part-time job, all thanks to The Arc.”