Goodbye – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program


My first week I wrote optimistically about the program, Detroit, Focus: HOPE, and the people I had already met in the program. I can remember the somewhat-forced optimism when I first wrote it; I always try to look on the bright side but it takes me a while to become acquainted with any new space. While I did spend the last ten weeks doing all of the things I mentioned in my blog post (exploring Detroit, learning more about it, getting to know the people in the program, scheduling events for Focus: HOPE), I didn’t expect how much can happen within ten weeks and how much could change within that timeframe.

My work at Focus: HOPE did all that I had wanted it to- I learned more about what it takes to do programming and public relations, and I learned more about nonprofits in general. The learning I have done has made me reexamine the public relations role that I had originally been so set on. Maybe that’s what I will want to do, but maybe I will end up doing programming instead. Also, while I love Focus: HOPE and still believe that Focus: HOPE is doing so many amazing and important things, I see how the structure of large nonprofits can sometimes hinder the work that I try to get done. The work is spread out amongst all the people working there, but everyone has so much to do that it can be stressful at times. I think I would like to try working at a smaller nonprofit to see how the atmosphere and work compares. I still would like to be doing something that allows me to speak to more people during the day and to be more involved in actual programs- my job at Focus: HOPE was usually still a lot of sitting at a desk for eight hours.

I feel like my experiences with the people in this program have changed me too. I have been exposed to a struggle (both my own and that of others) of trying to find a place somewhere within the differences between Ann Arbor and Detroit and that has not been a smooth struggle. It has made me think about more the issues in both places and the complexities of people- including myself. In some ways this program has shown me who I have been and who I want to be, and I am working on feeling my way towards someone new.

As this program comes to a close, I am thankful for my time here, but I am ready for it to end. I don’t think I believe in regrets because each new experience, good or bad, always teaches me something and shapes the person I am.

1 thought on “Goodbye”

  1. Lindsay,
    I’m so happy that you’ve gained from this experience. It’s hard to think that we just became close during this 10 weeks because of the conversations that we’ve had and the adventures that we’ve been on. I’m just really happy to have gotten to know you because you’re a really great person and I hope that we stay in touch during the school year.

    – Daria

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