Week Two Blog: Community Placement [Downtown Detroit Partnership] – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Two Blog: Community Placement [Downtown Detroit Partnership]

So, we meet again!

This week was my first OFFICIAL week of the fellowship. I have been fortunately placed with the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) for the duration of the summer. The urban planning firm works to create a vibrant and lively downtown atmosphere. The organization’s goal is to advance Detroit by driving engagement, development and programs that benefit businesses, residents and visitors throughout Downtown’s urban core. DDP works to strengthen and support Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs that evolve with the changing needs of the community. All in all DDP, does great work in creating beneficial spaces for the downtown community. However, this fellowship will be very unconventional for me because I will be working remotely.
Working online has been reminiscent of taking classes online towards the end of the Winter semester (we all remember that awkward time). In regards to meeting formalities and strategies for working as a team, I have applied many of the skills I used in the “Zoom Classroom”. Currently, many of my tasks are miscellaneous because of the chaos that has occurred because of the current COVID-19 crisis and recent BLM demonstrations in the downtown area. I have made phone calls and gotten acquainted with the majority of the staff. Also, I have gotten familiar with how the organization battles a pandemic and working remotely. Moreover, I have had the opportunity to become more familiar with the remaining DCERP fellows.
I have enjoyed working with the other DCERP interns. Now that the weather is sunny and warm, I wish we could meet in person and have in-person interactions. I am excited for my discussion with my group (COVID-19 and Health Inequity). Curating a presentation will be difficult. I am excited about our topic of discussion; I hope to enter a public health career. From previous discussions, I know my group is interested in the medical field as well.
In a word, DCERP has been overwhelming. I am attempting to apply for graduate programs, study for the GRE, and fully immerse myself in this program. It has been so hard to focus. I would love it if the circumstances were different and I could be on-site in the downtown area of Detroit. Detroit is beautiful in the summer. However, I have been stuck in my apartment in Ann Arbor for three months and it absolutely sucks. The warm weather helps and having something to look forward to like DCERP helps. Despite all the setbacks, I remain hopeful for a fulfilling experience.

‘Till next time!,

1 thought on “Week Two Blog: Community Placement [Downtown Detroit Partnership]”

  1. Hey Le’Elle,
    Downtown Detroit Partnership sounds like a really cool project/programs and I would love to hear more about them in the future! I feel the same way about this whole experience being very overwhelming at first, but personally, it has gotten better with time so I hope you’re able to adjust with your busy schedule because I couldn’t imagine juggling all of that at once. Also, good luck with applying to grad programs and acing the GRE!

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