I recently attended my first professional board meeting while representing Welcome Mat Detroit as a student intern. Welcome Mat Detroit is a nonprofit social services organization based in SE Michigan that primarily assists ethnic/immigrant populations in metro Detroit. By use of our partnerships and website, Welcome Mat Detroit provides a near-exhaustive list of ESL classes and opportunities in the region, as well as cultural events sponsored by local religious and ethnic organizations. Overall, the organization that I am working with serves as a stepping stone to immigrants, refugees, and ethnic communities looking for resources regarding citizenship, ESL, and cultural opportunities. After learning about Welcome Mat Detroit, I realized that the organization’s ideals align closely with the work I hope to do following the completion of my Masters in Social Welfare. Following my graduation, I hope to work either domestically or abroad helping facilitate refugee resettlement and organize resources for refugee and immigrant communities.
The meeting I recently attended in order to represent Welcome Mat Detroit was a board meeting and scholarship luncheon for Hamtramck United Social Services. HUSS discussed different ways in which area nonprofits can better assist the community, as well as future organizations HUSS may hope to partner with. I presented information regarding newly established centers for ESL in the area, as well as updated the other board members on events that Welcome Mat would be hosting in the near future. Finally, the HUSS board president presented 2 seniors from Hamtramck high school with scholarships granted to them based on their community service experience and application essays. Both girls are planning on attending Wayne State in the fall. It was really cool to be able to connect with 2 girls not much younger than me about being involved in the community, while sharing the “college” experience with them. I won’t be attending any other formal board meetings as a summer intern, however I’m glad I had the chance to experience the general protocol and see people in my future field in action.