Hello again Ashley,
Well, the ten weeks are up. Despite having to switch placements, the occasional difficulty that comes with living with five other girls and of having only two bathrooms and some personal struggles and barriers, I am happy that I joined this program and that I have lived in Detroit for the past ten weeks. I am proud of myself for trying to explore the city beyond the parts of Midtown and downtown that I had seen before. I went through an extensive tour of the city and metropolitan area with Focus: HOPE, helped with a clean up initiative in the Focus: HOPE neighborhood, went to Belle Isle, explored the Detroit Historical Society Museum, saw the Heidelberg Project, shopped at the Eastern Market, attended Pride at Hart Plaza, walked along the Riverfront and more. Of course, there is still so much more of the city that I have not yet seen or even scratched the surface on. As a student at U of M, I know that I am never done learning and understanding.
I know that I could probably never live here with the accessibility barriers that exist, but I will take everything that I learned from my organization with me as I continue on to my senior year and to graduation and beyond. I now have nonprofit experience working with an organization that does not do policy work but that instead does community development and outreach on a much more grassroots level.
I am grateful for everything that I was able to learn and experience while I was here. Thank you to Jenna for all that she did to organize this program. Thank you to Focus: HOPE, but especially to Heidi, Debbie, Shantel, Jerrell, Janet, Nicky and Judith for their help and support. Thank you also to everyone in my DCBRP cohort for helping support me throughout these ten weeks. I feel very lucky.