Week 1 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1

Hi everyone! My name is Freonia and I am a rising sophomore majoring in Public Health Sciences. I am excited to get to know everyone better and be able to learn about everyone’s interests and goals because I think one of the great things about this program is that we all are able to learn from each other. My site for this program is Brilliant Detroit, an organization helping kids and their families be able to access resources to be a happy and healthy family. These programs are based around their four pillars, family, education, health, and community. My job is to help them create a program they can present to local schools to encourage families to use their resources.


A big part of Brilliant Detroit is community engagement, they go into neighborhoods and establish different sites in those neighborhoods so families can easily access their programs and resources, as of now they have 18 running sites all across Detroit. A community in simple terms, is a group of people living in the same area, however, to me a community is where people are tied together by similar characteristics such as ethnic group, age, gender, sexuality, etc. And each person is part of multiple communities. These communities tie people to each other, creating close bonds and friendships. Communities make us feel seen and not alone, which is why Brilliant Detroit is an amazing organization as they tie different communities together into one.

What drew me to DCERP is that through this program we are able to directly interact with and learn from the community. Building relationships with different communities and being able to perform research geared around them is an important and necessary skill for all public health professionals, so through this program I hope to acquire and fine tune this skill.


Throughout my project I hope to connect and learn from as many people as possible. I have been involved in research and community projects in the past, such as setting up a new course at my high school or researching local beaver and man-made dams. These experiences have taught me leadership, collaboration, and patience all of which I plan to utilize for my DCERP project!


As DCERP goes on, however, I hope to gain more experiences and skills in organizing and planning. I definitely think working on a project for a limited time with certain deadlines will hone these skills for me. Overall, at the end of this nine week program I hope to have created long-lasting connections both professionally and personally with my fellow DCERP interns as well as my mentors at Brilliant Detroit. So excited for these next two months!

2 thoughts on “Week 1”

  1. Brilliant Detroit sounds like an amazing organization and I’m excited to hear more about your research in the coming weeks!

  2. Hi Freonia! It sounds like Brilliant Detroit is doing some great work for the community. I’m also excited about the opportunity to make connections at my site and with other DCERP fellows. I look forward to hearing more stories about your site, and I hope you have a fulfilling experience with DCERP over the next two months.

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