With the sixth week of my internship at Brilliant Detroit coming to a close, I’ve had ample opportunity to reflect on my experiences thus far. Brilliant Detroit is a newer non-profit in Detroit that is doing fantastic work “creating kid success neighborhoods”. In a nutshell, Brilliant Detroit acquires homes in higher-need neighborhoods in Detroit, and through community-oriented programming, helps families with kids ages 0-8 be ready for school and to be healthy and secure. For 8 weeks this summer, I am working at Brilliant Detroit as a Data Management and Evaluations Intern under the Health Program.
A number of factors contributed to my interest in pursuing this opportunity. I have always been interested in exploring non-profit work, and I was excited to be able to work with kids and families in the neighborhood in which my dad grew up, Osborn. I feel very strongly about involving myself in the community, especially when it comes to health and education. Interning at Brilliant Detroit gives me an opportunity to get involved, experience new things, and to make a difference in families’ lives.
Although I was initially placed at the Osborn site, my position switched to be located at Brilliant Detroit’s Southwest site. Oddly, my internship was both similar to and very different from what I expected. As a Data and Evaluations intern, I expected to be spending a large portion of my time behind my computer handling spreadsheets. While this came to be true to an extent, I also have been tasked with other responsibilities that I hadn’t been expecting. Although I had been expecting to interact with participating families in the form of focus groups, I did not expect to be given the opportunity to teach a class for Brilliant Detroit. This was a surprise to me, but it was the best surprise I could have gotten.
Once a week, I teach a gardening and nutrition class aimed towards kids ages 4-8. My supervisor and I are the main instructors for the class, but this week I led it solo and it was SO much fun. I love being able to plan activities for them to do and to teach them all about plants and nature, which is a personal interest of mine. Plus, they’re adorable.
I could keep going on and on and on, but I will stop here so I have other things to write about in future blog posts!