My name is Meghan Thorndike and I’m serving with the Michigan Nonprofit Association as a part of the Metro Detroit Partnership. We are located in the center of downtown Detroit right by Comerica Park and Ford Field. Before starting my VISTA service I wasn’t familiar with the city of Detroit at all, but in the 3 short months since starting my service I have fallen in love with all that is happening here. Plus the view I have of the Ambassador Bridge from my desk is pretty great!
I’ve been really lucky in my service because I have a great team to work with made up of 3 VISTAs that have been serving since February and 2 other VISTAs who started in August with me. The first VISTA cohort has been so helpful, they introduced us to the project, shared the progress they had already made and let us jump right in by shadowing them as they interviewed organizations in Detroit. The first cohort was tasked with creating an asset map identifying workforce and entrepreneurial development programs that service Detroiters. After they created this map they began contacting the organizations to set up Needs Assessment interviews to identify where we, as VISTAs, can help build capacity within the organizations. That is where the new cohort came in, when we first started, the Needs Assessment interviews were in full swing and we got to start shadowing right away.
Currently we are in the process of presenting our findings to each of the organizations we interviewed so that we can create a plan to engage with them and help them build capacity. It’s a really exciting time because after all the researching and coding and planning we are ready to get our hands dirty working directly with the organizations to really help make a difference for the people of Detroit.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!