Are you Detroit Strong?

My name is Sean Kim, a 37-year-old Korean-American automotive industry professional residing in the Detroit Metropolitan Area since ’95.  For the initial 15 years of my life, I have lived in 5 different countries (my motherland is South Korea, while my father’s occupation as international trade specialist stationed our family in the Middle East, parts of Southeast Asia, and various parts of the United States); for the remainder of 22 years, I have developed into a die-hard Detroiter/Michigander–having graduated high school as well as undergraduate/graduate institutions based in Michigan (my favorite colors are both BLUE and GREEN). I receive chills when the Red Wings score a goal, and still have good faith in the Tigers and Lions (…and it may be a while until the rebuilding of the next Bad Boys squad at the new Little Caesars Arena). 

Detroit is a true home for me, not only because I have lived here for the longest duration of my life, but also I feel attached to my scholastic/career accomplishments during my tenure here in this Great Lakes region–those which have truly made me who I am.  I have deeply entrenched myself into the Motor City work culture, as well as the excitement Pure Michigan offers me, an extreme outdoor enthusiast.  In short, Detroit Pride is one of my most prized possessions.

What’s more, I am attracted to the endless developmental possibilities Detroit has to offer–both in the economic sense as well as in the evangelical sense–and this is why, unlike the vast majority of young adults who choose to leave this state early on in their lives, I have chosen to continue my strides in Detroit (advancing in my career, as well as taking part in religious/volunteer community events). 

Detroit is certainly making big strides–nothing spectacular, but definitely some significant forward progress–progressing from a city of demolition to a city of planing and rebuilding in recent years.  During the past couple of years, Downtown Detroit–especially along the Woodward Avenue main drag–has never experienced such urban revitalization.  However, there remains many voids to be filled outside the downtown core–although the city has recently completed installation of 65,000 streetlights, there still remains countless neighborhoods without streetlights, where vacant lots exceed actual residences (coupled with uprooted trees/bushes across yards, empty sidewalks, and  other forms of destruction).  With equitable recovery being a major issue, according to Maurice Cox, Detroit’s planning director, the road to full recovery is not near. 

Although some have already “Let Detroit Go,” groups of dedicated community leaders have stepped up in effort to preserve our city–including Motor City Mission Corps and its partners.  We strongly believe that Motor City Mission Corps can make an impact for our beloved Motown, and for all of us involved–Are you Detroit Strong?

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