I am in a program called Semester in Detroit. I have been working with 482Forward as an intern for the summer. Semester in Detroit is a program in which students spend a summer here in Detroit to learn, live, and work in Detroit. Students intern at different nonprofits throughout the city of Detroit, in the hopes of engaging college students with the community of Detroit. The internships vary–from foreclosure work to immigration reform to the work in education justice that I do with 482Forward. 482Forward is a nonprofit that works to fight for education justice in the city of Detroit. The method of change of our nonprofit is to bring everyone to the table–parents, students, teachers, community organizations, administrators, and policymakers. With this, we hope actual change can occur and therefore improve Detroit schools. I was drawn to Semester in Detroit (SiD) back in December of 2016. As I looked to make plans for my summer, I wanted to have an internship to prepare myself for post-graduation, but also gain academic credit. I stumbled upon SiD’s website and applied immediately. The internship options were plenty and I really liked that the nonprofits we could work with were diverse. Furthermore, I would be engaging in this program and living in Detroit with other U of M students. After meeting the Directors of SiD, I knew that this program for my internship would be perfect.
Working with the Associate Director, I chose 482Forward. My work was mostly at Techtown, north of the Detroit Midtown Area. Techtown was really cool because a lot of non profits were also placed there and it was awesome to see so many people working to improve Detroit. Furthermore, the offices were non-traditional in that it was an open area with tables that were open to anyone/any organization. My internship consisted of diverse projects that I will go into detail in future blog posts. Outside of these projects, I was really able to engage with the community. I got to know parents and education advocates through meetings, community events, and working with the youth. Overall, the learning experience inside of Techtown and outside of the building at community events was amazing, as I prepare to graduate in December 2017.