Week Nine: When Hopes are Fulfilled – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Nine: When Hopes are Fulfilled

Dear Shaylynn,

I must say that you, “past Shay”, pretending to be me, “future Shay”, was spot on. Starting my internship, I was a naive dreamer with many ambitious goals that I wanted to achieve while I worked at this position, but I was given a reality check from the bureaucracy of it all and the resources that were provided.  I was unable to implement the programs that I wanted to, although my supervisor was very supportive, the time-consuming process of waiting for the “upstairs” to approve and give me the thumbs up to start the implementation process was discouraging. But thanks to the support of my new found friends from the cohort and the wise words of you, “past Shay”, I can walk away with my head high.

First, this experience in itself is amazing and worth gushing over, and I will be forever grateful for being a part of something that’s so much bigger than myself. Secondly, I’ve gained many new skills to add to my resume, *wink*. Lastly, I’ve gained new friends and experienced the authentic Detroit, the one outside of the golden brick road of Woodward Ave and past the overpriced bagels on Michigan Ave. I had the honor to meet the people, not the visitors who occupy Midtown and Downtown, but the people who live on their same childhood block, and can remember Detroit through all its glory and pain. I couldn’t have done it without my placement at Focus: HOPE and without the guidance from Jenna Steiner, who truly loves her job and is intentional with every detail and event in this program. So, despite the challenges and the discouragements, I know that I gave my all, stayed true to myself, and was open to new experiences. Therefore, I feel at ease closing this chapter that is DCBRP and opening a new one, whatever comes my way.

“I simply hope that you were true to yourself and honest with the things you needed to change to better yourself. If you were fearless, confident, humble, and all of these things, then past you, and present me is proud. I love you and as always I hope for the best.”

-Shaylynn (Week One)

Love you too Shay.

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