When you think of Michigan what places do you think of in a positive way? Mackinac, Frankenmuth, South Haven, maybe the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes? All of these places are places that you automatically think of when you think of the mitten state. For once, I wish people would see the beauty in the city of Detroit that I see daily. The current city of Detroit is in the state it is in because of it’s history, the citizens are working hard to try and rebuild the city but there are also some who have given up and fallen into a lifestyle in which they may or may not be able to come out of. This weekend, February 10th-11th I will be traveling to the city of Detroit with my Leader Advancement Scholarship Cohort to serve and lead by example.
In preparation for my travels, I am very nervous that the students we interact with will not be receptive of the knowledge and passion we are trying to inspire. But I am excited to be able to provide inspiration to those who are willing to listen.
One of the issues in Detroit that is extremely prevalent today is the fact that approximately 47% of the population doesn’t pay taxes which raises concerns on the economic standings of the city. A citizen of Detroit was quotes in a report saying ” Why pay taxes? Why should I send them taxes when they aren’t supplying the services. Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came.” Detroit has the highest property tax among big cities nationwide and relies on assessments that are seriously inflated. There are no consequences for not paying taxes within the city, due to the delinquencies, many owners are allowed to keep their properties. Detroit is a beautiful city that has tragically been broken and needs to be fixed.
This service learning experience to Detroit relates to the purpose and vision of the Leadership Institute by preparing not only CMU’s students, but the students of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy for the rest of their lives in areas socially, personally and professionally. As someone who leads, I strive to live everyday inspiring others to live their lives knowing they have purpose, and I try to do so while being as selfless as I can.
In today’s world, I am truly passionate about treating everyone as a human being. No matter what their race, religion, culture, political opinion, financial stature, sexual orientation- a person is a person and they deserve to be treated as just that.
I believe that during my travels this weekend, I will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the city of Detroit and it’s citizens. I look forward to all of the experiences I will undertake.