I’ve only had the opportunity to visit Detroit a handful of times, but I had such a wonderful time each time I was there. The first time I was in Detroit was on a school trip, and I had the opportunity to visit the DIA and explore Mexicantown in the southwest area. My second time was a quick visit, I was only there for a night because I was going to a concert at the Fox Theatre.
In the recent times I’ve visited, I was with people that are from the area so I definitely had a tourist experience. Thankfully, the people I was with were very familiar with and educated on gentrification in the area, so it opened my eyes to the issue and how it has affected Detroit.
While I’m likely not alone in this thought, I often wonder what this program would be like if we weren’t remote. I know I would’ve enjoyed dorming together, getting to know the city, and each other, and working at my community placement in person.
My supervisor is only in the office a couple days of the week, and they are still having to make changes to their organization due to the pandemic and safety precautions. Even when places were shut down at the beginning of quarantine, that didn’t eliminate the needs in the community, but instead it amplified them. My supervisor has often shared her concerns and the difficulties she has faced with the organization, and now the needs are even greater due to the pandemic.
What I’ve been learning about non-profit work is that a lot is unexpected. If you have a set list of tasks, it would be silly to think that wouldn’t change by the end of the week. The work can be rewarding, but it can also take a lot out of you. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with my community placement, and to be educated on the growing needs within the city.