And we’re off! | #1

Hey! Emily here. I am currently in the third week of my summer internship at Keep Growing Detroit (KGD), a gardening organization whose mission is to promote a food sovereign Detroit — that is, a Detroit where the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by Detroiters are grown within the city limits.

This is my second time working with KGD; my first work experience was during the University of Michigan’s Semester in Detroit program, which I participated in during the Fall of 2017. During my first internship, I learned more than I ever could have expected. My primary roles were facilitating volunteer crews on the KGD farm, drafting a farm food safety plan for the organization, and supporting staff on citywide programs and events. I found myself enjoying the organization’s work flow and atmosphere, and I knew I wanted to return to KGD in the future. After months of conversing with one of KGD’s co-directors and securing University funding, my summer internship fell right into place.

This summer I’ll be building upon some of the work I began in the fall, as well as taking on new roles entirely. This is a time of transition for KGD, as they are currently in the process of relocating the farm. I’m very excited to be a part of this transition. Soon, I’ll begin my role as a staff for KGD’s Summer Youth Apprentice program, where I’ll be supervising and teaching farm skills to a group of 16 youth for 6 weeks. I am also looking forward to working at Eastern Market (Detroit’s largest farmer’s market) twice a week, and facilitating volunteer crews 1-2 times a week, as well. I am thrilled to have two wonderful supervisors who have already proven to be a great support system for me at KGD.

My goals for the summer are to continue building relationships with folks throughout Detroit’s urban agriculture community, strengthen my farm skills, and facilitate a meaningful work experience for the KGD youth. The youth program starts up on Monday, and I couldn’t be more excited!

2 thoughts on “And we’re off! | #1

  • July 2, 2018 at 12:31 pm


    My name is Josh Lee, and I’ll be one of the staff members from the Opportunity Hub who will be reading and commenting on your blog posts. Thanks for this initial entry – its sounds like you’re working with an amazing organization!

    I’m really impressed by your initiative in facilitating your own return to this organization – it certainly sounds like you knew what sort of work you were seeking and advocated for yourself really effectively. Out of curiosity, do you have any interest in working with KGD on a full-time basis?

    How do you think this experience will be different from your first one outside of the change in role? Are there any specific types of opportunities you are looking to take advantage of during this second pass? I think you’re in a wonderful place with a solid support system to really craft your internship in some creative ways – I can’t wait to read more about how your experience shapes up!


    • July 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Hey Josh,

      Thanks for the comment. I am interested in working in the urban agriculture community in Detroit. Whether that’s with KGD or another organization depends on timing, availability, and how my interests and skills evolve over the course of the next year!

      This experience has proven to be quite different. I’m working full time instead of part time, so I’m much more looped into to organization-wide conversations and events, which feels very rewarding. I’m looking to take on more responsibility with less direct supervision, which has already happened a few times. I was responsible for some time sensitive data entry last week, as well as my own market shift, and it has felt great to be able to keep up with tasks as they come in without relying so heavily on my supervisors for support.


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