Grow Detroit’s Young Talent intern B'nay Gardenhire on her experience this summer

Grow Detroit’s Young Talent intern B'nay Gardenhire on her experience this summer

I applied at Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, which is an organization that connects you with a job for the summer , but never got a chance to pick what I wanted to do because I registered late. So I look at this time as fate. I am supposed to be here to soak up this information. To be completely honest I wouldn’t have picked this job if I had the choice. I’m glad that I didn’t because this summer has been amazing. 

I had the opportunity to be a part of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s Democracy for All team and this summer’s 313/616 Votes program. This is a program that works to drive voter engagement and create real systemic change to protect access to the ballot, making sure every voice is heard to ensure a healthy democracy.

When you hear about their mission, you don’t expect to have such a fun summer job. When I heard I would be working with voters I thought it would be boring. But each member of the 313/616 Votes team was so welcoming and helpful. They shared knowledge about voting and Proposal 2 through this slideshow. 

In 2022, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, which helped expand and protect voting rights for all Michigan voters. This summer, our team focused on helping voters understand the changes that are taking place such as early voting, permanent mailing ballot and pre-registration for 16 and 17 and a half year olds which is helping voters ensure that their voice is heard 

I completed a few projects this summer with the team that expanded my thinking and put my creative mind to work. We made a lot of content for TikTok about Proposal 2 and worked as a team to make informational but fun videos to educate the everyday voter. With me not knowing much about proposal 2 my teammates had previously put together a slideshow with all of the information regarding the changes to voting rights that are taking place in Michigan. Each morning we took turns presenting the information to our teammates, which helped me understand the work and be able to help educate others. 

Each day came with great knowledge and connections, but was also fun and interesting. My team leads were able to make it fun and worth looking forward to. As time grew, I found myself excited to come to work. As the program for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent comes to an end, I am forever grateful for this opportunity and the new people I got to connect with. Thank you for your time because it made my summer better and worthwhile. I will walk away with this knowledge and an open eye and ear on voting and our democracy. 

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