Detroit is one of those cities you think of and instantly start talking trash about. You talk about how much poverty Detroit is in, or you talk about the danger of being in a city like Detroit. You think about the crime rate. We all look at Detroit and see the bad things. I fell into the same category as many of Americans… talking about a city in my own state like the rest of the country had been.
LAS took a trip over to Detroit to do service work as well as teach leadership students more about the technical side of leadership by introducing them to our different leadership styles. We rode in a coach bus to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. LAS and the Jalen Rose students began the day by doing the airport activity for an icebreaker. Airport is when you “mingle mingle mingle” with everyone, then when Sarah says “GO”, you find the nearest person and you act like you’re seeing them for the first time in the airport. It was quite funny looking at the Jalen Rose students looking at LAS getting overly enthusiastic over everything in that activity.
We then broke off into our separate groups which had about 5-6 Jalen Rose students to about 6 LAS students and one main facilitator. My group was the Fire Up Fives which had some pretty A1 people in it. People I didn’t really know from LAS which I’m thankful for because I feel so much closer to each and every one of them.
We first circled up and played the “A-Okay” game where you say a little known fact about yourself, who your celeb crush is, what your pet peeve is, and something A-Okay about your week.
What stuck out to me the most was when one of the Jalen Rose students said, “My A-Okay is that I’m getting an A and extra credit for being at this.”
Not lying, I kind of felt slightly offended by this, but quickly remembered these kids were still here regardless, not to mention on a Friday afternoon. These kids have social lives outside of the academy, and some participate in sports. They still chose to be at the workshop with us which ultimately made me smile.
The groups went to separate areas of the school to do some activities we participated in during competition day. Our group started off with the dinosaur activity where we had to transport a ball from a plastic part using long strings connected. This is the part where I felt as though a lot of LAS students took too much control on the activity. We were so excited to get the task done, we instantly took control.
Because of us taking such huge control of the activity, the Jalen Rose students didn’t participate in pitching out their ideas as much. Thankfully our lead facilitator, Kate, saw this and made up challenges on the spot for us like “Oh no! Molly can’t talk now because she was screaming for help!” and things along that nature. By the end of it, mostly all the LAS students either had no voice, or had no sight. It was up to the JR students to figure out what the best move was.
After we all stopped talking/seeing, the JR students really stepped up and led us to victory for the activity. The JR students were so excited, and looked like they were having a lot more fun with us now than they did in the beginning.
We finally moved to the last activity where we had to find the magic path on the floor with tape drawn out to make squares. This is the point where it was my favorite part of the entire trip. The Jalen Rose students (the three we had left, the others left due to basketball games), were so excited to engage with us. Kate and our other lead facilitator, Madi, even let one of the JR students facilitate the activity and make his own path. We taught him how to use inclusive language because at one point he said “EEHHH WRONG” and we taught him to instead say “you have the opportunity to try again” when participants stepped on the wrong spot.
When it was time to leave, we were upset to say goodbye, but eager to see them next year hopefully. The students of Jalen Rose really seemed like they enjoyed the day just as much as we did. I hope to be on the LAS in the D lead team for next year because it was such an amazing trip to be on.