My summer at Motown was definitely one to remember. While Motown Mission was not what I expected, I learned so much during my stay in Detroit, and am so glad that I chose to be a part of it. Joining the Wesley Foundation at my school was eventually how I would find out about Motown Mission. I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the NEXT conference with my Wesley group, and while I was there, I met our director, Sarah. Sarah told me about the opportunity and the idea of Motown fit into how I wanted to spend my summer. I wanted to know how a nonprofit operated, while living in a new city and experiencing a new culture. With Motown, I got more than that out of the deal.
While I was learning about nonprofit work, I learned about different injustices that take place in Detroit. I learned about the call that God has over my life and how I can use that to benefit people my community. Patience and compassion were my two main character flaws before the summer and Motown helped me to improve both of those skills. Being able to extend grace to the people around you, and yourself is such an important lesson to learn. For me, the most important part of this summer was the relationships I formed with the people in Detroit, and the volunteers. Working alongside the people of Detroit was so rewarding, and they were so appreciative.
Another important lesson I learned as the summer progressed: while you are pouring into others, remember to refill your cup. Take time to yourself to reflect, and be alone. It was so uncomfortable at times to be so far away from home and working such long hours, but what I learned is that in order to grow you have to be uncomfortable. Like growing pangs. If you choose to work for Motown Mission you should know one thing for sure: you will be tested.
The biggest piece of advice I could give you is prepare to grow. There will be times when you are so exhausted, but just remember that you are doing this for a reason. Be present. Be aware of the greatness that surrounds you. Being on Motown’s staff will allow you to meet so many amazing people who work hard to bring hope to the people in the Detroit. Do not let the stereotypes that the media portrays about Detroit be the reason that you miss out on a fulfilling experience. The city has so many great things to offer, as does Motown Mission.