Nikebia Brown-Joseph was born and raised in Detroit, and is passionate about helping her community. Nikebia, a junior at Michigan State University majoring in social work, joined DPSCD as an intern through the university’s InnovateGov program and spent the summer working in the District’s Enrollment Department at the Fisher Building.
As an alumna of Bagley Elementary and Detroit International Academy, Nikebia sought out the InnovateGov program in hopes to learn more about how she could use her degree to help children and families right here in her home town.
“Working here was really cool because I saw specific jobs I could go into after college,” said Nikebia. “I’m thinking of going into social work at the school-level because it’s an intersection between community and youth, and those are the two things I care most about.”
Nikebia’s DPSCD experience is unique because she has experienced the District from a student perspective during a time where the District was under emergency management, and as an evolved District, with an elected school board and superintendent for the first time in nearly a decade.
“Everyone at Central Office really does put ‘students first,’” said Nikebia. “Everyone I’ve met is dedicated to serving the students of Detroit, from the superintendent to assistant staff – they are all working on behalf of our students and families.”
As one of several InnovateGov interns at DPSCD, Nikebia was able to create and own an enrollment project with her fellow InnovateGov intern partner Blair Baker. Their creation of an online system could help streamline the admissions process for students interested in applying to DPSCD examination high schools.
Nikebia’s leader and Executive Director of Enrollment Kisha Verdusco, knew her interns could help make a lasting impact on their department, and they did. From engaging with community organizations to helping assess school needs, the interns left with skills they will be able to use in their careers moving forward.
“It was a pleasure working with Nikebia and Blair this summer,” said Kisha. “They made a real impact across all of our department’s work streams, but the biggest was their contribution to the examination high school admissions process, which was the focus of their culminating project. As DPSCD alumni and native Detroiters, they also brought a unique perspective to their work and were living proof that DPSCD is providing a world-class education to its students.”
Nikebia added, “I’m really happy with my experience. This internship at DPSCD was important to me because it was in Detroit, and I was able to tie what I’ve been learning in school and apply it on a larger scale.”