By Myles Harlan
Myles Harlan joined New Look Detroit when he was in 9th grade. Today he is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University. He is currently working an internship with Ford in Detroit, the sponsor of our Dominican Republic Powered by Service trip.
Today I feel empowered, blessed, cultured, wiser, and more in tune with myself.
There are so many challenges going on in the world, and I’m so proud that many of us are at a pivotal point in our lives and in our thinking where we are confident in our power and working diligently to overcome these challenges.
Poverty is a global issue, and today we were able to see how Eddy Martinez and others plan to address this issue through technology and innovation. Parque Cibernetico of Santo Domingo (PCSD) is a cyber park filled with multiple businesses in the technology field, as well as a college that molds students into cyber experts. The area that PCSD was developed in what was once known as one of the most poverty-filled areas in the Dominican Republic. However, now the area is on an upward climb, as PCSD works to recruit, develop, house and hire workers from low-income areas. PCSD gives these workers the opportunity to succeed consistently, and allows growth and escalation within the companies located in PCSD. I am also really proud at the amount of women working in technology at PCSD; they were sitting side-by-side with the men and hopefully receiving equal pay. I learned that one of the ways in which we can address poverty is by working to create as equal of a playing field as possible between races, genders, and classes.
It was also great to watch how plastic is made in the Dominican Republic, as well as how Helados Bon makes their ice cream – which was absolutely delicious! Helados Bon has a very sweet and buttery taste with a smooth texture, similar to Breyer’s gelato. Hopefully we can import this in the United States soon!
It was an honor to experience these amazing things today and this week in general with the Ford Fellows from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It’s a blessing to be provided the opportunity to watch change happen right in front of our eyes, as we saw Dominicans and Haitians working together, eating together, laughing together, watching Poverty Inc. together and trying to address issues within each community together.
What Usher’s New Look and the Ford Motor Company Fund are doing is powerful, and I cannot wait to see our program, which is building global bridges between countries and creating mutual growth and knowledge, be taken all over the world! I am humbled, and I thank you sincerely for everything New Look!
Read Our Student Blogs from the Rest of the Trip!