The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this program and my community placement is shock at how rapidly this internship has flown by. I can’t believe that we are over half-way through the program. It seems like I haven’t been at my placement for very long, but the past six weeks have also been incredibly busy and filled with lesson for me. I can tell that I have grown since the beginning of the fellowship. I was very shy and reserved in the first zoom meetings with my site, I didn’t quite feel comfortable with the remote arrangement and I quite honestly wasn’t sure how I would stay busy for the entire workday when working remotely. Now, I am not afraid to speak up and I don’t get as much anxiety when I speak in front of the team at staff meetings (I still get a little bit). Not to mention I almost have too much work to get it all done in one week! Over the course of this experience I feel I have gained a great deal of confidence in my inter-personal and professional skills, which is ironic being that I have interacted with my superiors and other fellows only through a computer screen.
This experience has not been what I or anyone was expecting it to be by any means, but I am so grateful that I am still able to contribute to my site in a productive way and learn more about working in the professional world. I am also grateful to have learned more about myself as a person through this experience. Working at ProsperUS has given me a look into entrepreneurial disparity and the gaps that low income and minority business owners face in Detroit and the entire country. This has opened my eyes to yet another realm of social justice work that I wasn’t aware of prior to start of this fellowship. It’s exciting to me that there are so many avenues of social change out there that I can still discover, and I don’t have to know exactly which one I want to take just yet. Its also encouraging to see so many professionals at my site and at others who are leading successful careers while benefiting their communities. This is something I aspire to do, but I’ve faced doubts in the past from others suggesting that social change isn’t necessarily a viable career path. As much of a whirlwind as it has been, this entire experience has been wholly reassuring and confidence boosting to me, and I am excited for my future—whatever it may hold.