MSU graduate reflects on four meaningful years
of Jewish leadership and learning.
Opportunity knocks. Research,
internships, study abroad, and
service learning are built into
nearly all of Grand Valley's 200+
areas of study. These, along with
our liberal education foundation
that fosters critical thinking,
creative problem solving, and
cultural understanding, prepare
you well to answer the call of a
rewarding career and life.
Marisa Horn, back row, third from left, and other MSU
students engage with Detroit students through
n late April, the MSU Hillel com-
munity was excited to learn that
one of its organizations, Destination
Detroit: Building Bridges, had received a
Multicultural/Cross Cultural Programming
Award from Michigan State University.
Destination Detroit is a campus-wide
initiative that works with nine diverse stu-
dent organizations at MSU to help connect
MSU students to people in Detroit and to
The program is a monthly full-day immer-
sive experience into the city of Detroit. The
visits included working with students in
Detroit elementary schools, guided tours
of nonprofits and the city's sights as well
as shared meals with local residents. The
program helps in dispelling stereotypes of
Detroit and allowing students to connect to
the city and their fellow MSU participants.
The journey that led me to my current role
as an intern for Destination Detroit began
with my active involvement with MSU Hillel
during my freshman year when I enrolled in
the DeRoy Leadership Institute, a six-session
program teaching students how to become
Jewish leaders on the MSU campus.
During my sophomore year, I became
chair of Jewish culture for the Jewish
Student Union. We planned cultural pro-
gramming that helped students connect to
their Judaism. In my junior year, I took on a
leadership role with Tzedek, a Jewish com-
munity service organization. The full year
of engaging the MSU Jewish community in
supporting service projects around the area
provided a deeper appreciation of the need
and importance of tikkun olam.
My Destination Detroit internship not
only allowed me to use the leadership skills
I developed through MSU Hillel, but also
allowed me to help others participate and
engage with the city of Detroit.
The interaction with Detroit students,
teachers and administrators has helped me
and other Destination Detroit participants
dispel the undeserved stereotypes of the city
and gave us the opportunity to gain per-
spective regarding the challenges faced by
urban communities. Additionally, this experi-
ence gave me a greater appreciation for
the diverse community on our campus and
showed me how powerful we can be when
we work together.
My involvement with MSU Hillel and
Destination Detroit has been a transforma-
tive and amazing experience — one that
has allowed me to connect with my Judaism
throughout college while making new
friends and memories.
As a very recent graduate, I was excited to
learn MSU also recently awarded an honor-
able mention to the Jewish Student Union
for Outstanding Campus Organization. This
recognition validates my pride and apprecia-
tion for our student-developed and driven
organizations, and I can't wait to see how
these programs will grow and develop.
Looking back on my MSU journey, I
couldn't be more appreciative of the oppor-
tunities I have had, and I look forward to
continuing my involvement in our Jewish
community as I begin a new chapter in my
Marisa Horn of West Bloomfield is a 2014
graduate of Michigan State University in
267 S Lightner Road
j m OH 43452
Only 20 minutes west
of Cedar Point!
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