Detroit, It’s Michigan’s very own claim to fame; the town has been home to celebrities, one of the largest automakers in the country, trophy winning athletes and an incredibly large population of amazing people. While some of the city’s exterior glamour has faded and the population has decreased, there still remains much of the same greatness in Detroit today as when the city was on the top! Today however, even greater than before, is the city’s potential.
As an LAS cohort we have recognized that Detroit has the incredible opportunity to once again be a booming metropolis of life and we believe that we can help make that a reality. Tomorrow we embark on a service trip to turn our realizations into actions, but before we head out we have to be properly trained on how to enter and exit the community effectively; luckily a trip similar to this has been made before and our LDR 200 professor Jesi Parker was able to train us in class today. There are many reasons that preparing the members of a service trip, prior to departure, are important, but I think the top one is that it helps to turn the trip into more of a community partnership instead of a weekend project. We are going to do hands-on work with people that live in this community and are directly affected by any changes we create, so it only makes sense that they be a part of generating these positive changes. I believe this trip will be much more effective in bringing about long term change compared to other service trips I’ve been on in the past. This is because we will be passing along some of the leadership skills we have been taught to the youth of the Detroit community. These young adults can then continue to positively affect their area instead of relying on outside help to constantly visit with “Band-Aid” solutions to their town and school’s issues.
In class we were taught a few different facilitation tools to help us be the best teachers we can be for the students we plan on visiting at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. I am very excited to watch my peers work in their element and push themselves beyond their comfort zones this weekend. Even more than that, I am genuinely stoked to see the reactions and growth in the leadership skills of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy students.
Aside from working with the academy, our group will also be helping the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative to demolish a house as well as have the chance to view the surrounding area, specifically the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum! I cannot wait to see the city, this will be my first time in Detroit and I’m incredibly eager to see the great city many of my peers call home!