As a part of this program, my cohort and I have had the opportunity to meet at least twice a week and participate in events together. Sometimes we just sat around in a circle and talked about the highs and lows of our week or something we were looking forward to, and got to connect because we work at separate nonprofit placements. Other group meetings would include events where we got to experience Detroit with the residents and members of the community that are dedicated to embracing it and meeting the need of their neighbors. I’ve discussed several of these events in past blog posts.
In a more general sense, something I’ve learned from all of these group meetings this summer is how important it is to cultivate acquaintances with those you meet. Beginning this program with the 22 other amazingly unique individuals in this program was exciting because I had never met them before. Most people were easy to get to know and I have come to cherish the friendships I’ve built with these awesome folks in the program- I hope that as the program is nearly over, I will be able to study the perfecting of these friendships in the fall. Through the interactions I’ve had with the wonderful individuals I’ve grown so comfortable with this summer through these group meetings and shared living space, I’ve learned to hold truth inviolable, sincerity essential, and kindness invaluable. It is important to create beauty in environment, manner, word, and thought and I’ve never been so convinced of that thanks to my new DCBRP friends.
I’ve learned to welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world’s work in the community where I am placed: the group meetings have shown me to enormous amount of opportunities to provide service and leadership in Detroit and in Ann Arbor that I previously hadn’t realized, and has tasked me with being more active in issues I believe in and that are incredibly important to the health and wellbeing of others. I hope that those who can now say that they know me may esteem me for my passions and my purpose and allow me to continue to be inspired by and learn from them. I hope to continue my involvement with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Michigan in a different capacity in the fall, and continue to value the work that my cohort has so intentionally accomplished this summer.