Detroit, a city that is approximately 30 minutes from my home. The city our Leader Advancement Scholars will be traveling to this weekend for a service trip. This weekend is filled with exciting adventures from facilitating students from the Jalen Rose Academy, visiting the DIA with a Quicken Loans Tour, and serving the community of Cass Community Social Services. This trip has made me very excited to serve and learn about the heart of Detroit and will be my very first service trip I will be participating in.
I always knew about the issues of what Detroit has faced for years since I live fairly close to it also with parents who both grew up near the city. I know that Detroit has one of the highest populations of homelessness. Growing up, my mother was in charge of my church’s Soup Kitchen program. We traveled once a month to St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit to serve meals and donate clothes for the homeless. I started helping my mom out with the soup kitchen when I was 9 or 10 years old. I learned at an early age of how fortunate I was and it was heartbreaking to see how many people walked in starving and needed shelter and a warm meal. This is a major problem in the city, and the people need to be given the ability to work again in order to give them a roof above their heads and food to eat. Also, Detroit is looked down as a run down, abandoned home-filled city that people think is too dangerous to walk around. People do not see the side of Detroit that has beautiful areas it has. I had my senior pictures taken in Eastern Market because I go there every year with my family to pick flowers and love the atmosphere the area and wanted to capture the art through my photos.
The Leadership Institute plays a major role in our service learning experience for this trip. The purpose is of the LI is that “Central Michigan University is committed to preparing Michigan’s students and citizens for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and challenging society.” with the vision of The Leadership Institute is to “prepare the next generation of individuals who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live and work.” This trip will be a great way for me to better myself as a person, especially as a leader. Getting this hands on experience with the city of Detroit will hopefully change my perspective of it and will continue my Servant Leadership to give back to an area that has a potential of bettering the lives of others.