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Detroit (MS)

Food Insecurity
see info below

Course Details

July 15-July 22, 2023


Arrival City
Detroit, Michigan



Alongside our partner, Focus: HOPE, you will learn about food insecurity, economic disparity, and inadequate education. 

Open to students currently in grades 7&8 (2022 –2023 school year)


This program will take you to southeast Michigan, where our partner Focus: HOPE is working to help the metropolitan community overcome racism, poverty, and injustice through a variety of programs. 

While in Detroit, you will work shoulder-to-shoulder with Focus: HOPE on their food program that serves over 38,000 senior citizens, as well as on one of the various urban revitalization projects they support in the heart of the city. You will also have the chance to learn more about other organizations working to support local communities as well. Two of your days will be spent supporting Forgotten Harvest’s urban farm, where nutritious food is grown for distribution through mobile food banks, and learning about food deserts. Finally, your time in Detroit will allow you to explore various cultural sites and restored neighborhoods in order to appreciate the rich history of the city and its significant potential for future revival.

*Please note that programs are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.


Explore solutions to issues of racism, poverty, and injustice alongside local leaders.

Learn how Focus: HOPE supports the community through education, job training, and food programs for local residents.

Support Forgotten Harvest’s urban farm, and learn how nutritious food is grown.

Course Elements

1 is the least rigorous, 5 is the most rigorous

You will learn about food insecurity, economic disparity, and inadequate education alongside our partners.
Prior to your travels, you will complete an online curriculum to gain background knowledge for your experience. While traveling, you will learn through engaging articles, cultural experiences, and group reflections.
While in Detroit, you will spend time exploring various cultural sites on foot. However, these activities only require short walks.
You will stay at a local hostel with shared kitchens and living space as well as bunkrooms for students.
You will explore various neighborhoods in the city that require short drives.
You will spend your time exploring different neighborhoods in the Detroit metropolitan area.


Day 1

Arrival Day.

Day 2

Project work with Focus: HOPE.

Day 3

Project work with Focus: HOPE. Visit Motown Museum.

Day 4

Project work with NSO at the Tumaini Center and the Bell Building. Cultural experience.

Day 5

Project work with Forgotten Harvest. Visit Detroit Institute of Art.

Day 6

Project work at Forgotten Harvest’s farm. Cultural experience.

Day 7

Visit the Detroit Eastern Market and Henry Ford Museum.

Day 8

Departure Day.


Itineraries are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.

Detroit (MS) : In Three Phases



Prior to your departure, you will be guided by your course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons designed to help you engage with other members of your group while gaining important context for your experience.



The majority of the days at each site are spent learning from our local partners and serving alongside them shoulder-to-shoulder. You will learn through service and experiences designed to help you understand the local context, culture, and history.



Ethical leadership is a lifelong journey. After your experience, you will become a part of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder network. This network of past alumni and partners is designed to inspire and support your journey in ethical leadership.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, you will spend time reflecting and processing your experience. The posts below are from past programs.

Day 3 in Detroit: Compassion & Commodities

Today we worked at Focus: Hope to deliver the packaged boxes we made yesterday along with some corn flakes. But for me (Re: Avery), the surprises and fun started much earlier. I woke up this morning to balloons, some signs, and an awesome card- signed with notes by everyone else in the group. I’m st...

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Day 4 in Detroit: Rescuing Food

This morning we went to Forgotten Harvest. This is an organization that takes excess food from local grocery stores and delivers them to the people in need. First, we sorted bread, cucumbers, and meat sticks. The bread will go out to local children, who are usually provided lunch by the schools. In...

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Day 5 in Detroit: Eggplants

Today, the group traveled an hour outside the city to volunteer at Forgotten Harvest’s farm in Fenton. All of us had a blast harvesting vegetables- especially me (Sarah) as I now found my new calling as an eggplant farmer… can’t wait to tell my parents! After harvesting the eggplants and zucchinis,...

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Day 2 in Detroit: The City of Energy

We spent most of the day working with Focus: HOPE.  We started out by touring some of the facilities. We saw a school and walked into the gym where they were teaching some kids a song. We watched them dance and sing for a little while and it filled me with so much hope for these kids and for the cit...

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Important Details


Tuition (students from partner schools): $2595
Tuition (students from non-partner schools): $2695

*Students attending a partner school receive a tuition discount. Click HERE to see partner schools. Please note that tuition does not include airfare.


Students are responsible for booking their own flights to meet the group in Detroit. Once enrolled, our admissions team will assist you in choosing the correct arrival and departure times.


SStS is in search of curious, compassionate, globally-minded students from all backgrounds. We will do all that we can financially to support students who require assistance. If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, please indicate this on the application.  Resources are limited and tend to be less than 50% of tuition.


For a full description of our Terms and Conditions please CLICK HERE.



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