Week 1: She Did Not, In Fact, Fix It Later – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1: She Did Not, In Fact, Fix It Later

I would like to start off by saying that I’m a little overwhelmed right now. Not by my site – by this blog post. I kind of hate introducing myself, especially when I have to do it in writing. There’s so much more pressure to get it right, because you can always go back and change what you said. If you can still make it better, then there’s so much pressure to keep making it better.

Alright. Here it goes. My name is Lisa. I like to read, dance and sew. I’m a computer science major, and I’m also doing a certification in socially engaged design because it’s important to me that I place people (not whatever’s coolest or most profitable) at the center of my work. That value is mainly what drew me to community work. As far as what brought me to Detroit specifically, I grew up Dearborn, which directly borders Detroit. My school would do a lot of service work with Detroit nonprofits, but it would always bother me, the way we were taught to just come in, do work, and leave as quickly as we came. It never felt right. I wanted the chance to give this city, and the efforts of the people in it, the respect that they deserved.

For me, community is all about mutual support and mutual respect. Already, I’ve seen such amazing examples of that at my site, Nortown CDC. The site is a nonprofit that is attempting to build back the Nortown neighborhood in northeast Detroit by developing affordable housing and working with local businesses. Every day, I have been so blown away with how much my site director knows about this neighborhood, simply because she has given of herself to others in the community, and they, in turn, have given back. I’m so excited to keep working with her this summer, and grateful that I have a useful skill to offer her: she’s asked me to use part of my time while I’m there to help her improve their website and give her a better understanding of computers. Hopefully, during my time there, she can teach me how to work with people the way that she does. I think that if I could have even a fraction of her skill by the end of the summer, I would be beyond proud of myself.

Signing off for now, I guess? I still might fix this later.

2 thoughts on “Week 1: She Did Not, In Fact, Fix It Later”

  1. Hi Lisa, I think you did a wonderful job introducing yourself. I think this summer you will have a deeper understanding of Detroit, its people, and yourself.

  2. Hi Lisa, I really like how you acknowledged that community work takes more than doing one thing and immediately leaving. It takes more than that to leave a lasting impact. I’m looking forward to hear more about what you do at your site in the coming weeks.

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