Week 9: Look at Where You Came From, Look at You Now – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 9: Look at Where You Came From, Look at You Now

I remember when I was applying to be a part of this program, I immediately began reading the blog posts from the 2020 cohort. The first ones that popped up were the week 9 reflections, and it’s crazy to think that I’m now writing my own. At the time, I thought it was funny that everyone was so surprised with what they wrote in their first blog and how much everything had changed. I mean, it was only 9 weeks ago. How much can really change?

As it turns out, a lot! I had thought that my biggest strength would be my past experiences working with other communities through Alternative Spring Breaks. However, working remotely as opposed to in person made it really difficult to engage with the community and the organization in the same way that I was used to. I think the most important thing for me was being flexible and having strong communication with my supervisor. 

I was also really worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a real difference in either Detroit or NSO, but I know now that everything that NSO does makes a huge impact for the people they serve. Even doing something as simple as calling bike shops for donations can create a partnership between the organization and local businesses that can be utilized for years to come.

I am also proud to say that this experience has taught me a lot about working in a nonprofit, and I have a much better idea of what to look for when I begin applying for full-time jobs. I am way less nervous about graduating now that I have some experience doing what I love, and a great network of nonprofit leaders to reach out to. And, of course, I am extremely excited to continue the relationships I’ve built within the cohort, and to meet you all in person in the fall!

5 thoughts on “Week 9: Look at Where You Came From, Look at You Now”

  1. You know, there’s always a position for you at NSO (as Katrina often likes to remind you)! So glad I got to work with you this summer! (and that we got to split up calling some of those bike shops because those were not fun haha)

  2. Hey Kirsten, I loved reading your post. I agree, I remember reading 2020’s blog posts and thinking the same. I know the work you’ve done in NSO really did make an impact. Congrats, and have a good end to your summer!

  3. Tottionna Bushell


    I also read some of the reflections from week 9 when I first applied. I would have to agree that it is cool to be here writing one. It’s so amazing to hear that you learned a lot from working with non-profits. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

  4. Hey Kirsten,

    I’m so glad you’re ending this placement feeling a sense of clarity and excitement. I feel the same way! I was totally lost in understanding the path I wanted to go in for my future, but it’s safe to say its a little bit more clear for me now! I am so happy that you feel connected to your placement and the city of Detroit after this. Congrats 🙂

  5. Omg I also read last year’s blog posts at the beginning of the program! Working with my organization also made me a little less stressed over my career. Looking forward to also meeting in the fall!

    p.s. I love the title of this post 😉

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