Week 9: Reflections – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 9: Reflections

There’s only a couple days left of DCERP, and it’s crazy how fast the past couple months have gone by.

Reflecting on my very first blog post, I can say that I am proud of the work I accomplished, but I do think that things went differently than I expected. At the time, I didn’t fully understand what my project was and to be honest, it never became super clear to me – but what I did come to find out was that I didn’t fully understand because a lot of it was up to me. I think this forced me to make a lot of my own decisions and evaluate what I thought was necessary information for my project, and I think that allowed me to grow in subtle ways.

I also didn’t realize how difficult being remote would be. Because a lot of my work involved making my own decisions as to what needed to be accomplished, it was easy to lose that drive during the 7-hour work day. This has left me wondering a little if I could have done more, despite having exceeded the deliverables assigned to me by my supervisor. I am grateful, however for the opportunity and the invitation to continue working with NSO throughout August and in the future. Currently, Kirsten and I are helping plan NSO’s annual Handlebars for the Homeless fundraiser, which will be in August, and I am glad I get to be a part of that, especially because I did not expect to be working on it when I started this internship.

Some things I’ve learned is that non-profit work is a lot. I’ve seen my supervisor and her colleagues overwhelmed by the amount of work to do, but I’m also inspired by their persistence and desire to give their all for the people they serve. Because of this, I’ve also learned that it’s not just about how big or impactful my project is or how much work I do; sometimes it’s just about helping to lift the burden off someone’s shoulders. I think this can be applied to all aspects of life, and I’m glad I was able to help my supervisor out in this way. More specifically related to my project, I have definitely gained more knowledge in regards to food insecurity and homelessness, and it’s given me a greater desire to pursue public health and to serve those experiencing these things. I’ve absolutely loved working with NSO. They are a wonderful organization, and I can see myself working for them or a similar organization in the future.

Overall, DCERP has been an amazing experience. Aside from working with NSO, DCERP has allowed me to learn more about social justice, gentrification, and the Detroit community. I’ve loved hearing from other organizations in Detroit and the barriers being broken. I wish I had gotten to experience the program in person, but I was still able to see how much each fellow cares about the Detroit community and have meaningful conversations. DCERP offered us an incredible opportunity, and I have no regrets being a part of this program. I am so glad this was how I chose to spend my summer, and I hope that the work we’ve started doesn’t end here.

2 thoughts on “Week 9: Reflections”

  1. Hey Abby! Congrats on finishing the summer. I know making those decisions on your own must’ve been hard, but it seems like you had a great team with Kirsten and everybody else in NSO. Good luck on the event, I know it’ll go great.

  2. Tottionna Bushell


    I am so happy to hear that you had a great experience here at DCERP! I can’t believe it is the last week already. It was so lovely getting to know all the fellows this summer. Thank you!

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