Dear Haley – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Dear Haley

Dear Haley,

What do you want to do? “I want to help people.” I think a lot of people respond to that question with that same sentence, “I want to help people.” This is a hopeful answer, and without a doubt a good answer. However, I find it hard to think of a job that doesn’t help people. Moreover, even a greedy businessman’s ultimate intention is to make money for his family or for his eventual will. Apart from a few inherently evil human beings, I think the goal of most people is to help others even in a small way. Of course, I want to help people throughout my life as well. Over the last few years, I have had a very narrow view of what “helping people” looks like. I pictured a doctor treating a patient with cancer, or a physician prescribing medicine to a child with the flu. Although these are valid example of helping others, I have since realized that physical healing of a person is not the only form of healing others. That is why I got involved with public health; through public health we can address the health concerns of a whole population with intervention strategies and prevention techniques. Public health has served as a way for me to help others while I am still on my way to a medical degree. Even so, in my eyes public health is still a slender version of helping people because it addresses the health status of a population. I hope this summer will broaden my view of helping others to include community aspects and surroundings.

I think in my first couple days I have learned how things such as urban planning, housing market history, and comradery in a community can affect people in a positive way. I hope to gain a broader perspective this summer regarding how I can serve others. I hope to contribute to my program hard work and deliverables that the organization can use even after this summer. My placement organization (Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation, WNDC) wants a research project about the current housing market in Woodbridge so that they may plan to build new affordable housing that merges with the existing housing market seamlessly. I hope to give them a quality and thorough report so that they can use it to plan out future housing endeavors.

I am from Dearborn, which is about 20 minutes from Downtown Detroit. I have grown up in this Detroit suburb, but I always thought I had a connection with the Detroit because of it. First, because my family relies on the automotive industry for income. My dad has worked for one of the Big 3 since he finished his studies, who knows how long ago, and he has gone through the tough times with this fickle industry since then. Going out in Detroit was always a treat for my family and I, but I think my window view of Detroit has been somewhat exclusive. I hope to gain a more comprehensive view of Detroit that includes the surrounding communities, current controversies, and the future vision that includes everyone that lives in the 139 square miles of Detroit.



1 thought on “Dear Haley”

  1. Sarah Meiwen Thong

    This is a really interesting viewpoint. Do you think learning and becoming more aware a way to help people?

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