Tomorrow morning at approximately 8:00am myself and 40 other Leadership Institute students will board a bus and head to Detroit. Over the course of two days we will be facilitating Leadership activities at a local Detroit High School as well as helping the Motor City Bligh Busters. This will personally be my first time in Detroit so I am very excited to see what lies ahead. The following are a few questions that I believe are important to consider prior to the trip in order to make sure that myself and the 40 other student get the best experience possible while on this trip.
- What social issues in Detroit are you aware of? How have you learned about these issues?
A huge social issue in Detroit is stereotyping. I myself am from the west side of Michigan and when people hear the word “Detroit” they automatically say “Oh, be careful.” I believe that this is the main reason why Detroit continues show no improvement. If this negative stereotype of Detroit continues to spread, it will continue to affect the amount of people that are willing to try and help Detroit and therefore never get out of the rut it is currently in. Detroit is not a scary place as many people think. It’s a city that needs help. And the only way to do this is to stop the negative stereotyping of Detroit. Stereotyping is a problem that people and places face everyday. We are raised being told to not judge a book by it’s cover. But yet, we still do. I specifically learned about the negative stereotype of Detroit by talking to my friends that live there. Everything that I believed to be true about Detroit, my friends told me was incorrect. This showed me first hand the negative affect stereotyping can have. Like stated earlier I am from the west side of Michigan and the popular opinion of Detroit is negative one. I personally am going to go what I can to spread the truth about Detroit when I move back home this summer.
- In what ways does this service learning experience to Detroit relate to the purpose and vision of the Leadership Institute?
The following purpose and vision are those of Central Michigan University’s Leadership Institute (LI).
PURPOSE: Central Michigan University is committed to preparing Michigan’s students and citizens for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and challenging society.
VISION: The Leadership Institute prepares 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 relates to the LI’s purpose and vision in that it is exposing student to an experience that they have never done before. We are being put in a situation where we will first hand have to deal with a challenging society and the negative stereotypes they have on Detroit. Following the trip it will be out job to prove to others that these negative ideals they have of Detroit are incorrect. This trip also relates to the LI’s vision because we are acting responsibility to improve the quality of life, state of economy and communities of which people live in. Even though what we are doing is small, everyone must start somewhere. This trip has the possibility inspire and of the 40 students going to go out and help even more.
- How do you think the trip to Detroit will help you grow as an individual?
I believe that this trip will help me grow as a leader because it is going to push me outside of my comfort zone. We are working with a population that I have not worked with before. I am use to working with students with an interest in leadership or that have prior leadership experience.Being able to share leadership advice and training with students who have not been exposed to many leadership opportunities will not only teach them, it will also be a learning experience for me. Throughout the planning of this trip our amazing Adviser Jesi Parker has told us many times to “just willow.” By this she means to be flexible and go with the flow. I’m the type of person who likes to know what is going to happening every second. “Just willow” is going to be difficult for me. However, in the end become flexible and being able to go with the flow will help me to become a better leader. It is going to be a great experience that I am greatly looking forward to.