This week I started with Street Democracy, a start-up law firm in Detroit Michigan working with underprivileged community members through representation services and alternative sentencing programs. I was originally supposed to be working with a ride share start-up called MOGO in downtown Detroit. However, due to the pandemic, they were not able to facilitate a remote internship. I wanted to do Duke Engage Detroit this summer because I saw it as an important opportunity to learn about the history and community of a city that I am very fond of. I am also eager to build a foundation in social impact consulting with community partners that are carrying out critical work for Detroit’s underserved communities.
I’ve been surprised by how accommodating my community partner supervisor, my Duke Engage Detroit supervisors, and other Duke Engage supervisors have been. I am excited to learn more about the field that I hope to have a career in after college, in addition to befriending those with whom I am working and reflecting. The most difficult part of my internship this summer is definitely the communication aspect, and not being able to solidify relationships by in-person conversations. I’m nervous that, because I am not interacting with the community members that my partner organization serves, that I might lose sight of my goals for this Summer. However, I hope that having time delegated to reflect on my week’s work, I will be reminded of why I chose to take part in Duke Engage and why the work that all of us are doing is important.