There probably are not many students alive who would opt to sit in on an interdepartmental tactical meeting about improving community assets for Lansing area residents. But for members of the lab this experience is a very real opportunity to (1) see your data entry and research put to use, and (2) watch the values of the lab exercised in a real and impactful way.
As an attendee of Lansing Areas’ Power of We Consortium held at the Ingham County Health Department, few moments were as humbling as being surrounded by tens of working professionals all possessing or obtaining several advanced degrees. Every meeting is an opportunity to learn what the current issues afflicting the community are, and what multiple governing bodies can do simultaneously to address them. There are presentations by epidemiologists, social workers, representatives from the Department of Labor, and even community representatives to inform each other. Most pleasing is the amount of absolute respect each participant has for the other. Everyone can ask clarifying questions. Everyone is held accountable to fact checking. Everyone respects the domain of which another is an expert and a resource.
As an undergraduate scholar every minute spent investing your best effort in the lab is well worth it to peer into your future and see that if you can uphold basic ethical principals, respect your workplace culture, and are earnestly interested in bettering your community, you are on the right path.
We are always looking for new team members with a passion for social innovation and youth empowerment. If you are interested in training at the Community-AID Lab, please e-mail our Lab Lead, Ignacio.