If you were to ask me what social entrepreneurship was before applying and actually coming to Detroit, I would probably Google it and give an answer like “it’s a method to solving social problems in the world.” Turns out it is more than just that. Detroit is an amazing city filled with culture and hope, two of the most important characteristics I would say a city needs in order to prosper in the near future. Maybe this is why social entrepreneurship is widely popular in the city of Detroit, everyone has hope that one day Detroit can go back to how it was a couple of decades ago.
Detroit Food Academy’s mission startled my eyes when I first read about them on the DukeEngage Detroit website. DFA serves as being a resourceful tool for high school students who are into the culinary arts and also interested in learning about entrepreneurship. Students first learn the skills and tricks used in cooking and baking to then execute what they have learned in more advanced programs within DFA. However, DFA is not like any ordinary cooking school, it goes way beyond what one would expect from a non-profit.
From one on one conversations I’ve had with students, I could feel the love these students have for the program. One of the students mentioned how she appreciates the program a lot because it is not just cooking skills you learn but you get to work on yourself. After she mentioned that it helps her work on herself, she mentioned that “DFA has helped me open my eyes, helped me work with others, allowed me to be optimistic, and be more responsible.” It was a heartwarming experience to listen to what she had to say about DFA and confirming what I originally thought about this program being more than just learning to cook but a program where kids have a place to be themselves. Sometimes sports and video games aren’t for everyone, and it is amazing to see that Detroiters saw it wasn’t and made a program like this one to help and guide high school students with useful skills and knowledge.