Being in the area a week so far I quickly concluded that I was wrong! Turns out the people from Detroit are the kindest human beings I have ever met. The community in Detroit is like no other. Everyone is so caring and patient. Although there are people who claim to be patient, there is nothing like Detroit patient. Walking through the Eastern Market made me reminisce the times I would walk through multiple fresh produce markets in Ecuador. However, in Ecuador, everyone is in a rush to get there things and leave as soon as possible, but in the Eastern Market, you see people interacting with one another having some fresh popcorn in hand. I’m pretty confident in saying that if a market like Eastern Market were to open up in New York, everyone would be in a rush to get their necessary goods and leave but in Detroit, that’s not the case.
The highlight of my week occurred this past Saturday where I stood behind the Detroit Food Academy stand, a non-profit I’m interning for this summer the level of appreciation from Detroiters for the program as a whole was just so shocking. After speaking to multiple people about what DFA does for high school students in the Detroit area, they were astounded and quickly purchased the famous Slow Jams and Mitten Bites.
During my time in Detroit, I will focus on helping high school students with useful skills they can implement in any work setting or just in life. Going to the Detroit Food Academy stand every Saturday is the first step in connecting and hearing their stories. It’s quite disappointing to see these young men and women eager to learn different skills such as various ways of reaching to more customers at the stand but not having workshops or even resources that show them how to do so. I’m also not saying that I know a whole bunch about advertising a product, but I looked around the Eastern Market and tried to replicate what the successful stands were doing to gain customers. I came across SAMPLES! Yes, sampling the Mitten Bites was a very smart move, more people were coming in to get their samples, I mean who doesn't love free food, and while they were eating the two students representing the organization Jaylen and Eddie were describing their stories with DFA.
In the week that I’ve been here, I’ve felt nothing but welcomed wherever I go by the community and the students I’ve interacted with thus far. I could probably be interning back home in a corporation and making some summer money, but personally what’s the purpose of it if you’re not touching the hearts of others. The morals I was raised with, receiving a thank you means so much more to me than money because at the end of the day money will come and go but those valuable moments will not.