Your first day (and almost week) of work went by already and now things are going to start racing against time as you find yourself at work, interacting with your cohort, and navigating the world outside your laptop while on your laptop. Three strong years at the University of Michigan have slipped right out of your hand, and ever since the beginning, you knew you wanted to pursue political science with the hopes to gain the right mentorship, educations, and tools to impact your community! Community means amplifying the voice of those before you and contributing to bridging inequities and wanting your community to reach their desired heights and goals. As a first-generation Latinx student, you have undergone first-hand systemic inequities and hope to be a source of knowledge for those who do not always have access to mentorship. It is why you became a CONNECT mentor and loved every day of it! Your community is composed of a fluid and intersectional identities, those who empower you, and those whose work and voice you hope to contribute to.
Detroit’s rich and diverse history of resilience and being home to many is what draws me to learn more about its history more in-depth and engage with the community members. I want to learn about its triumphs and adversities and how I can actively engage with its present structures, advocates, and activists. I hope to learn about its districts and how the came to be, but also how they are sustained and what the future holds for them. More importantly, I want to learn how to effectively produce change through non-profit and advocacy, to then bring such change in my own community. I believe that through insightful dialogues, hands-on experience, and education my learning process can be guided to help me reach the knowledge and resources to bring back to my community.
In a different personal aspect, I hope to grow very close to my cohort and learn more about their growth process, achievements, goals, and dreams and how I can support that. Already, we all are passionate about non-profit and community work. This is evident because when learning about our partnerships, I wanted to engage in all of them and although I could not, I hope to learn from my peers about them more. I am excited to also connect with other students during these times where change is happening at a fast pace. Although I wish we could all meet in person, being part of this online community still means a lot to me.