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Making a difference in Flint

July 13, 2023 - Beth Brauer

Student Spotlight: Dillon Hall

Dillon Hall is a third-year student from Livonia, Michigan, majoring in social relations and policy and minoring in Classical and Ancient Mediterranean Studies.

Dillon Hall

Where did you intern this summer? What drew you to this program?

Communities First Inc. Their commitment to bettering impoverished communities and fighting the houselessness crisis really drew me to them. There is no other organization involved in local communities like them. The amount of work and improvement they’ve made to the city of Flint is astonishing.

Describe some of the highlights and how you see this experience preparing you for the work you want to do after you graduate.

I really enjoy how I go to work having no idea what I’ll be doing that day. There are some things that remain the same day-to-day, but the local events I get to go to are exciting. One highlight of my internship so far was when I was able to attend a ribbing cutting ceremony by the mayor of Flint for a local Latinx Community Center.

Nonprofit work is very interesting, I feel that most of what I’m currently doing at my internship is making a difference, and I would like to continue in this field after I graduate

In what ways has your JMC coursework prepared you for this internship?

Instead of directly teaching me comprehensive details about city planning and event organization which I do at my internship, my coursework has prepared me in more subtle and implicit ways. My JMC coursework in social hierarchies and relations prepared me to better understand the communities and people I work with. Having past experience with topics that Communities First clients deal with on a day-to-day basis is vital to understanding what underserved communities are going through.

Who should apply for this internship? 

I believe anyone who wants to change the country for the better should apply for this internship. This internship would fit well with all JMC majors and political science majors. I think the ability to listen is the most important skill one should possess at Communities First.

What has been your favorite JMC class and/or professor thus far and why?

Yoshira D. Macías Mejía’s class has been my favorite JMC experience thus far. Learning about the cyclical nature of racial and ethnic history was really interesting and eye-opening. Yoshira D. Macías Mejía was also really cool and easy to listen to. She didn’t feel like a superior but instead just a peer with topics she was really informed on which could add to my education.