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Reflection in Action: Nora McKee '23

Our reflection for the week comes from Nora McKee, a junior majoring in Communications with a concentration in Digital Media!

Which community partner will you be writing about? Briefly describe their mission and the population they serve.

The Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center; At this site we run the Power Source program, a service that brings JCU students and incarcerated young women together to discuss emotional management and share our experiences with one another. The goal is to bridge the gap between those on the inside and the out in order to better understand the people of our community.

What did you have to unlearn to be fully present to those you are working with?

While working with the girls at the JDC, I had to confront a few of my own problematic ways of approaching service. I had to unlearn my constant worry for what's next. I had to be where my feet were and fully engage in the important conversations and discussions the way I would want someone to do for me. I had to unlearn my ideas of 'fixing' the people that need our support, and to instead approach my Tuesday nights with grace and patience to listen and uplift.

What is one way in which you’ve allowed yourself to be changed as a result of this experience?

This experience has allowed me to lead with a more open heart than ever. I have learned to love the parts of people that often times remain hidden or concealed. I have learned the importance of listening and how vulnerability can and will look different for everyone. I have allowed myself to be changed by these girls and their stories, breaking my heart and putting it back together nearly every visit, and of course laughing a lot in between.


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