Dear Chloe from blog post week 1,
In your post from week one, you mentioned reading about the history of Highland Park and I remember that reading. You learned, from a very distant perspective, facts about the city, the repossession of streetlights, how the city now functions in the dark without them. You learned about how it used to have a booming economy and now many cannot afford their energy bills. That week, I learned what had happened, the numbers, the statistics, without really knowing Highland Park. I am pleased to say that you learn so much more about the community. You interview over 20 community members, and your site mentor takes the time to explain community dynamics and his perspective on Highland Park. This theoretical knowledge became practical as you engaged with the community and with exciting ideas for the future of the non-profit.
To your hopes in the first blog, the experience was everything that I had hoped it would be and you enjoyed being involved in the mission. Despite all the research being virtual, you were still welcomed and appreciated. Your original sadness about having to learn about the community only through reading was unfounded once you scheduled conversations over zoom and were able to become a staff member.
You also wanted to be pleased with your contribution to the mission of Soulardarity and I am thrilled to say that you are. Your research is leading to the creation of a business proposal and a pro-forma and will be the basis for conversations that will take place between Soulardarity, Eco-works and MI-MAUI in the future. All those interviews finally culminated in a report and it is exciting to see what the findings were!
Overall, you’re sad the 9 weeks went by so fast. You enjoyed the experience and though it is sad you could not be there physically, it is exciting to think of a time where you may be able to meet them all in person.