Week 1: Starting Out – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1: Starting Out

Dear Lindsay,

This summer you will be working at Focus: HOPE and have your first real internship in a completely new city. Even though you live close by, you have never been to Detroit very often and this summer will be a great opportunity to enjoy exploring the city with the great people you have met in this program. So many people tell you Detroit is a scary place, but you’re a smart person and will be careful. You know that underneath all of the judgement Detroit receives it is an amazing city with lots of cool opportunities and a rich, complicated history. You’re curious to learn more about that history and to make some great memories here. Along the way, you can discover what it’s like to work at a non-profit in a city going through such great changes, both debatably good and bad.

Focus: HOPE seems like an amazing company who does so many great things, and when people ask you what you would like to do in the future, it basically is what you will be working on this summer. You would love to do public relations for a non-profit and you love programming. This will be a great opportunity to see how programs like Cool Cities Park are started and made useful. What’s even better is that you will get to get feedback from the community to help the project continue and grow after you leave in August.

So far you have worked for two days. Your first day was almost five straight hours of reading (the binder you worked through was seriously huge), but you enjoyed learning about all of the programs and research Focus: HOPE had done in the past. You also got your own desk, your own ID badge, and your own phone that is now programmed to say your name. Your second day was even better: you got to start planning the project for the summer. Sure, you need to get used to working for eight straight hours at a desk in a quiet office and you’re not completely sure you know what you’re doing, but this project gives you so much freedom to really grow and learn as the program grows. You can bring to the project all of the experience in planning and event coordination you have had in the past six years, as well as all of the social justice knowledge and listening you have done throughout the last two years.  Besides, you have experience organizing people and documenting your work for future staff.

I’m sure this program will give you all of that and more (so many people have said great things about it!).


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