Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

I can’t help but feel sad and smile as I look back at the last ten weeks. I am sad because everything is coming to an end. I am sad that I won’t be climbing six flights of stairs to 606 anymore. I am sad that I won’t be there when the LED Street Lighting Consortium launches in the fall.

Man, talk about being bittersweet.

I smile because I had the experience of a life time; I got to live, work and play with one of the most caring and bright group of people that I know.  I got to live in Detroit and take part in an initiative to transform twenty six other communities. What more can I ask for?

Some things are meant to be remembered forever and my memories and experiences of this summer will always have a special in my heart.

There was a lot of work, food and joy this summer. But I will miss the long conversations with my fellows the most. We are no experts, but talking it out helped to refine our thoughts. The topics could range from life purpose, social problems, and political controversies to just daily hassles. The point was to be there, to listen and to learn from each other.

Just talking obviously doesn’t solve all our problems, but it is a start. If we don’t raise questions and try to understand each other, how are we ever going to create change? 

Ten weeks is not enough time to make me a Detroiter, but it is enough time to make me a Detroit believer. If you walk around, you can’t help but notice the energy and charm of this city. Some may say that there are a lot of vacancies in Detroit, but I also see a lot of untapped potential. There are passionate people who are working hard and devoting their life to Detroit and I really appreciate that. 

I have learned so much this summer. I have acquired a new appreciation for the public sector. I know that regionalism is not just a hippie buzz word; it is organized networking and relationship building. I also know that working with city officials take a lot of persistence and patience. Teamwork really makes the dream work. 

To end it all, I would just like to say a big thank you for everything and to everyone for summer 2014.

Lots of love,


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