Hi, I’m Julia. I’m currently a sophomore in the Residential College at the University of Michigan. I am pretty sure I’m going to major in Anthropology with an emphasis in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and minor in Urban Studies. I say maybe just because I haven’t started my major yet and I enjoyed the freedom of being undeclared. I hail from Shelby, a tiny agricultural town in western Michigan whose claims to fame are the National Asparagus Festival, the Brown Bear, and being the birthplace of Wayne Static of Static X. Currently, I’m living in Midtown as a participant in Semester in Detroit. I wanted to participate in Semester in Detroit for several reasons including my aspirations to work in community organizing or at a nonprofit in the future, my desire to live in a big city for the first time, and my belief in immersion learning which is central to this program.
I am interning at New Detroit, an amazing organization formed after the rebellions in 1967 that works to improve race relations in the city of Detroit. At New Detroit I work with the Community Capacity Building department whose goal is to aid community and faith-based organizations. Locally, many of these organizations aim to serve populations of at-risk youth, elders in need, the homeless, children of prisoners and prisoner reentries, those struggling financially, and those in need of rehab in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Often these grassroots organizations have fledgling beginnings with a lack of support, organization, or financial means. The Community Capacity Building program at New Detroit works to aide these organizations in enhancing their internal organization, expanding their knowledge of finances, and enabling their ability to fulfill their own goals ultimately creating knowledgeable and sustainable organizations. As an intern, I am currently researching and investigating the leadership styles of executive directors of nonprofits.
I take the required Reflection Seminar and History of Detroit courses along with Politics and Planning with Gloria Robinson and Writing about Work with Lolita Hernandez. I am also involved in an independent study with Nick Tobier where other SID 3.0 students and myself help out at an after school program at Ceasar Chavez High School called Good Eats Detroit. In addition to these classes, I hope to begin some volunteer work in the city so if anyone’s interested, give me a holler!
That’s about it! I love going to shows, exploring, reading, eating, drinking strong coffee, theatre, attempting to dance, movies, and spending days at the beach (I must always live by a large body of water).