I haven’t even stepped on a bus yet but I already have a million images going through my head about what LAS in the D is going to be like. From hearing the LEAD Team talk about everything we’re going to be doing, to listening to the Sophomores talk about it, one thing seems certain: it’s going to be a highlight of my Freshman year. One thing that stuck out to me is someone said that we’ll get to see “the real Detroit.” I’ve been to Detroit tons of times for Tiger’s games and Lion’s games but that’s about the extent to what I’ve seen of Detroit. Being able to look deeper into Detroit and make a positive impact is something I am ecstatic for.
That’s a part of why I’m looking forward to this service trip so much. Being able to see the actual city of Detroit will be a great experience. It’s been no secret that Detroit has faced some serious social issues in past years. The one that I am most aware of has been the high poverty levels. Not only have I heard all about the poverty struggles that Detroit has faced but I’ve seen it myself. I have seen the homeless people throughout Detroit, which isn’t different from any other city, but I have also driven down Eight Mile and observed the conditions that so many people live in.
Being able to help the people of Detroit is something that I am extremely excited for. Service leadership is one of the best leadership styles out there and the more I can exercise it, the better leader I can be. But this trip is about more than just becoming a better leader; it’s about giving back to the city that I have so much pride in as well as enlightening myself and trying to leave as positive of an impact as I possibly can by helping now, and growing for the future.
Overall, I have a mixture of feelings about this trip. I’m nervous and excited but no matter what happens I am sure that this will be a great experience. Projects like this remind me of what it really means to be a leader. It is one thing to be a leader and another to be an ethical leader. Ultimately, this trip is what the Leadership Institute, and Central, is all about: leaving our stamp on the world by being ethical leaders.