This week, I had many chances to work closely with my supervisor as we scrambled to submit a grant in time. These circumstances really shed light on the culture that my supervisor values and practices at the SWDCJC. She was incredibly encouraging and hard-working even when we ran into startling challenges. My supervisor remained calmed, never blamed anyone, and worked to find a solution. I really appreciated her work ethic and general forwardness when working together. An attitude like this encourages me to work harder on our project and reach out when I need help.
In addition to my supervisor’s welcoming and motivating approach, the other staff members have also been respectful. Within our group of six staff members, I am by far the youngest of any member and also the only white member. Although I might stick out a bit in their group, they do not ignore my identity but rather accept it as it is and treat me with respect regardless. I know from experience that there can be difficulties when working with others who may seem like strangers in many ways, but I hope that I, like my colleagues and supervisor, can be ready to learn about and from others.
As I continue to work with the SWDCJC I hope to understand and appreciate the culture of the neighborhood we serve more so. It is really important to me and the work I do at the SWDCJC that I gain a better understanding of the community members I am working with. Although I haven’t had many chances to interact with the community directly, the stories my colleagues tell me about the community members we work with tell me that Southwest Detroit is a community worth getting to know.