You see, in our first enrichment activity we did as a cohort in Detroit, we were all prompted with this game. Not knowing any of my seven other group members, I remember thinking that statements like Raymond loving dance or Ashka fencing in high school were blatant lies. Now, looking back, I just shudder to think how I could've considered these statements to be false. On our last full day in Detroit at the famous Jolly Pumpkin--a restaurant where President Obama once got a burger--my fellow DukeEngagers and I played Two Truths and a Lie once more. This time, however, we almost all picked up on the lies instantly, whether it be through that sly smile that was now so recognizable or the oh-so-familiar flux in intonation. It was amazing how this single game told such an impactful story--a tale of growth and friendship. Needless to say, these relationships and memories that I've made here in Detroit will carry with me as part of my college career highlight reel.
Professionally, I've learned so much with my super collaborative and supportive site partner Keiley as we embarked on a journey into the world of non-profit. Through our economic impact report, we not only had the opportunity to calculate valuable quantitative metrics for future grants acquisitions and annual reports, but we also had the privilege of interviewing successful entrepreneurs like Ojas Aklokar. Her story was long, meandering, and filled with unexpected plot twists. She moved from her birthplace in Mumbai to Detroit to China and back to Detroit, all the while nurturing her idea of Tribalfare--a boutique shop with the goal of being a cohesive cultural hub. To me, her story embodies the reliant and daring entrepreneurial spirit that the Detroit economy and community are fostering.
Beyond our specific task of creating an economic impact report, we got to experience the ins-and-outs of Build Institute. It would be a gross understatement to say that managing a non-profit is hard. With high barriers of entry to certain sources of funding and limited man-power, the efforts and determination of all the Build Institute staff members to put Detroit on the entrepreneurial map are truly remarkable. Again, I just want to reiterate my sincerest thanks and gratitude towards Build Institute and the DukeEngage cohort for an unforgettable summer!