What is YOUR Mission? – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

What is YOUR Mission?

I have appreciated the knowledge that I have gained through the seminar component of the Detroit Community Based Research Program. As Nate mentioned in his blog, it’s a nice little “breather” from the 9-5 workday. Likewise, I have broadened my understanding of observing v. interpreting, professional writing, comprehensive design, and a whole slew of other things!

One seminar that resonated with me on a more personal level occurred on July 11 when Emile Lauzzana came from the Detroit Public School’s Office of Energy Management to speak about his experience working in the non-profit sector. He started by sharing that his current job is job number 18 for him. Mr. Lauzzana then proceeded to have everyone go around in circle and share their very first job. All of the jobs had a similar theme– entry level, minimum wage, etc. They ranged from cashier at Burger King to lifeguard to hostess at a Chinese restaurant. During the course of the seminar, Mr. Lauzzana had everyone state their goal or dream job and concrete steps on how to obtain that role. Additionally, Mr. Lauzzana strongly encouraged the value of connections, networking, and securing relationships.

Mr. Lauzzana shared some of his career background, explaining that his first job was at Baskin Robins. He then went to the University of Michigan where he majored in Colonial History. Graduate school led him to architecture, which was not bullet proof during the economic troubles of 2008/9. Last but most likely not least, he is now working on green initiatives with the Detroit Public Schools.

This past school year, I was very distraught about not having a clear direct path. The thought of the next step after college made me really nervous, and actually, scared. I neglected my strengths and my true passions to pursue a life that would grant me security in the future. Needless to say, I started looking into Occupational Therapy as a potential career. Human Anatomy and Physiology were on my class schedule at the beginning of this summer.

Throughout this summer experience, I have rekindled my flame. And I promise that I won’t let anyone or anything dim my flicker. Like, Mr. Lauzzana, I will most certainly have multiple jobs in my lifetime. No worries, though! It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

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