Hankin Gains Nonprofit Experience at Youth-Works Detroit

Journalism Senior Alexea Hankin interned at Youth Works-Detroit last summer.

Youth Works is a small, Christian nonprofit organization that aims to introduce kids from Detroit to the arts, reading, and writing. The organization works with elementary, middle and high school students with the goal to expose them to unique ways to express themselves.

Hankin worked with Bezalel, the free day program for 7- to 13-year-olds that teaches creativity and character building skills. Hankin also took part in designing logos and creating and photographing for newsletters.

Hankin’s most cherished memory from her summer in Detroit was organizing a “photography day” with the kids in the program. It was evident to Hankin that the only cameras that the kids have ever used were on smart phones. This became a powerful teaching moment for Hankin due to the kids’ genuine curiosity when it comes to the arts.

The experience made her realize she doesn’t want to follow a traditional path in journalism. Rather, Hankin explained that she wants to help people by using her journalism background.

“They are just really real people. I was really refreshed by it,” said Hankin, looking back on the people she worked with in Detroit. “People are a lot more similar than we initially think they are. We are all kind of searching for pretty similar things."

She encourages journalism underclassman to work in the field as early as possible.

"We do our best work when we do it together.” Hankin said.

Hankin believes experience is key to finding out what kind of jobs are right and wrong for each student.