I have done a lot of community service before. I volunteered at my local food pantry every week since I was in middle school. I have organized and volunteered at many blood drives and other programs. I tutor k-12 in my free time and run as many sport camps as I could fit in.
I have been wracking my brain on how to prepare myself for the service trip that my class is taking to Detroit this week but I’m still just unsure on what to expect. I come from a small town in Northern Michigan that has limited diversity. Not being exposed to much diversity before is one of the reasons that I am nervous about going on the service trip to Detroit.
I have very little knowledge of Detroit. If I am honest, I have succumbed to believing many of the stereotypes. I’ve heard about the poverty, low population, danger of “8 mile” and a bunch of other things that are probably only partially true. This is one of the reasons that I have been anticipating this trip all year. That is why I am excited for the LAS in the D trip this weekend. I believe going down to the city, helping at a school, and doing service for their community will expand my knowledge of Detroit.
When I first heard about the LAS in the D trip, I was like “why are we going to Detroit?”. But once the lead team started explaining what we are doing there, I understood why they are taking us. LAS in the D really embodies what the Leadership Institute at Central is about. Taking leaders and putting them in a position that they get hands on experience helping others and learning about an issue that is close to all of us.
I leave tomorrow morning for Detroit. Everyone who has been on this trip before says that it’s going change my life. I am looking forward to embracing this experience and I just want to take as much as I can away from it. I haven’t been put in many situations before that has challenged me emotionally and I believe that LAS in the D is going to. I am looking forward to the challenge and the chance to learn how I will respond when put in a new situation.