There are times in our lives when we discover a place that changes everything. For Safiya Jackson, better known as Blonde and Blue Girl or simply Blue, that place was Brilliant Detroit. Blue is “a mom of two who’s always looking for something to do with [her] children that isn’t super expensive and yet still helps improve their lives,” and one day she found the Brilliant Detroit Cody Rouge house. “It provided a home away from home, a place for [her] kids and self to grow AND a place for [her] sense of purpose.”
The more time she and her family enjoyed at Cody Rouge, the more she wanted to connect with the people in that space; both staff and participants alike. She started to volunteer whenever she could and, soon after, she founded the Cody Rouge Movie Nights, which gave children a chance to watch movies with their peers and parents free of charge. Never ceasing to innovate, Blue’s path took her further and further from there. Blue says, “I felt appreciated and loved and wanted to give this to others as a way to build community. I felt I found my calling and when I heard I could fully give my time to Brilliant Detroit with Public Allies, I submitted my resignation from [my] job and joined the team.” Sometimes things just feel right and, for Blue, that was the community at Brilliant Detroit and the possibility of building a kid success neighborhood. Feeling that a greater purpose was before her, Blue took a pay cut by leaving her job to devote herself to this work.
To leave the story there would be enough, but that would omit the energy and enthusiasm that she has brought since joining the Public Allies team. She is one of six inspiring new additions to the Brilliant Detroit team from the Public Allies program, brought on board to further build out our outreach and engagement work. Not only is Blue deeply engaged in the outreach work, she also finds plenty of time to continue working at her home away from home: the Cody Rouge house. She has proved to be an invaluable source of support for our Cody Rouge staff, even covering for them during their time off. She has pioneered the Cody Rouge Literacy Nights with Brilliant Detroit’s volunteer team, bringing ideas, energy, and her wonderful children to each event, and engaging her neighbors in literacy-rich games and activities.
“Today I am helping build kid success neighborhoods through talking with people and helping them find what works for their families. A pretty big order. Most importantly, I feel I have found my mission and am inspired by those around me.” Stop by sometime to meet Safiya as she continues on her path forward. As the name suggests, she’s the one with the blonde and blue hair!
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