Week One: A Letter to Myself – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week One: A Letter to Myself

Dear Rashad,

This is a big experience for you. Your expectations are high, just as much as your willingness to work. This is your first time working a nine to five job and living on your own, outside of college. Your internship this summer is with FoodLab Detroit, and I know that you are excited to see where this journey will take you, but I am here to tell you that everything is going to be alright, and that this experience will be one of the best in your life. You were so passionate and anxious during the application process of this program, but now you get the chance to illuminate the skills you possess while also learning from this experience.

I know that you hope to gain, a variety of things, such as community engagement, adaptability, and advanced communication skills, but be open to the idea of learning something that you never expected to. Don’t try to plan out every aspect of your experience in this program, but try to be open to meeting new people, trying new adventures, and stepping out of your comfort zone. I know that may seem scary, but be willing to be brave and step outside of your usual self, in and outside of the work environment.

Rashad, you intend to bring your diligence, innovative spirit, and flexibility to your organization. I know that you are ready to present and share all of your skills to your organization, but be prepared and willing to be more of a listener and not always a responder. Be willing to take in new information and perspectives, and don’t always feel the need to have all the answers or resolutions to a problem, because you will not. This experience is not only a chance for you to learn, but it is also an opportunity for others to learn from you as well, so be open to sharing your knowledge and experiences with others.

In regards to your current perception of Detroit, it is quite positive, but realistic. As someone who has grown up in the Metro-Detroit area, you know that Detroit is sometimes not always represented as highly as it could be, but you know the amazing culture, history, and people that encompass this city and its great legacy. You know that Detroit is a place where innovation and creativity is rampant, and you want to be a part of that. Be proud of yourself for where you are at now, and don’t be afraid to be proud of the small achievements you may make during your journey in this program. This is an experience that may only come once, so take it in and be willing to do something different.



1 thought on “Week One: A Letter to Myself”

  1. Brenda A Harvey

    I think it is great that there are personal goals to get form this program! I think thinking about it in the beginning is a way to really make sure to get the most out of an experience. I think I might try to do this for myself as well.

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