Inspired aspirations: Model D intern tells us how she plans to make impact on her Detroit

There's a blog called Detroit Girls About Town and the creator of the site describes DGAT's as city girls who are dedicated, smart and cultured individuals.  That, in my opinion would be the best term to describe myself. I am a Detroit Girl at heart who is dedicated toward moving the city forward with my intelligence and commitment. I was born and raised on the West Side of Detroit and my love for the city is what has influenced my career decision to become a journalist. While a student at Communications and Media Arts High School, I became interested and eventually smitten with the field of journalism.
I learned how much of an impact this field has on our country and that journalism is not merely news that is presented by the media, it is a profession that speaks volumes in its own rights. Although, I am a somewhat introverted person, journalism gives me the power to influence the world with the stroke of a pen.

One particular story that made me want to become a news journalist in Detroit was when former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's text message scandal was revealed and became the initial phase in the city's demise.
Although there was nothing but negative connotations about the story in regards to Detroit, this investigative piece showed me just how important journalism can be in shaping the opinions of people across the country. However, I felt as if one story could destroy a city, then one story could also play a part in the revitalization of the city as well.

As an aspiring journalist, I hope to make an indelible impact on the recreation of Detroit, not only because it is my hometown, but because I feel it's my obligation to help alter the perspectives of outsiders who know nothing about the true spirit of the city. I have seen firsthand the impact journalism can have from my experience as a student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

For the past four years, I have been a part of the school's newspaper, Michigan Journal. Working for the MJ has taught me that journalism is all about serving others and giving a voice to people. I have been able to give a voice to minority student associations that are relatively underrepresented from a social and political standpoint on campus. Not only have I received extensive training in the field of journalism from working with the MJ, but I am currently learning more about the field as a communications major. My focus in the communications field is journalism and screen studies and I have received excellent training from professionals in the field such as veteran journalist Tim Kiska, who is currently a news producer at WWJ.  

I've also been able to learn more about investigative reporting from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Schaefer, who also works for the Detroit Free Press. UM-Dearborn has provided the foundation for my future success as a reporter and I hope to bring the same skills I learned in school to my position as an intern with Model D.

Model D embodies a similar vision that I have for making an impact on Detroit. This online magazine reports on the up and coming projects that are helping to bring about positive changes for the city, and they highlight local shops -- to cite but one example -- that many people may have not known existed in the Midtown area.

I am interested in getting to know more about downtown and Midtown as well as working on stories in some of the areas in Detroit that I grew up in. When I was younger, I would always go shopping at local markets and shops in the Grand River/Livernois area. As I grew older and moved to a different neighborhood, a lot of those same shops ended up closing and were either replaced with another business or they are still abandoned. I'd like to investigate why that particular area seemed to degrade over the years and why more businesses are not being centered in the area because people still live there.

Also, from a cultural standpoint, Detroit contains so many traditional and valuable resources in terms of music, dance, and other creative arts. I am very much interested in exploring the musical richness of the city, and what new local projects and artists are springing up and making their impact on the country. As an intern with Model D, that would be one of my areas of focus.

Veronica Grandison is part of the Model D editorial team from January until June.
Signup for Email Alerts