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Summer at Kresge: Grow Detroit’s Young Talent intern working on youth empowerment, HBCU projects


Alaya Freeman

Alaya Freeman

Nakya Cummings-Moore has always been interested in making a difference.

As a summer undergraduate intern with Kresge’s Detroit Program, Cummings-Moore is working with the team on a variety of projects, including youth empowerment, research on the mortality rate of African American pregnant women, and a project on the experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The work is central to helping the Detroit Program advance its objective to promote and expand long-term, equitable opportunity in Kresge’s hometown by centering the priorities of its residents.

“I’m learning a lot from my time at Kresge. My youth empowerment and HBCU projects are teaching me a lot not only about the type of work I’m doing at Kresge but also about myself,” she says.

She found her internship through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, a six-week summer youth employment program that combines work readiness training with on-the-job experience designed to prepare 8,000 Detroiters, ages 14-24, for Detroit’s workforce. Cummings-Moore expressed her interests, skill level, and accessibility. This interest showed that she was a match for Kresge’s Detroit Program.

“Honestly, being here broadens my horizon because I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. Before working at Kresge, I worked in retail. Though retail and philanthropy are two different things, I feel like the experience prepared me to work effectively in a team environment,” she says.

She hopes to leave the foundation with valuable insight and experience. She also hopes to make a lasting impact with the Detroit Program on the community.

Once she completes her time at the foundation, she will be going into the final year of her Bachelor of Science in Biology program at Alabama State University. Cummings-Moore then plans to attend medical school to become an obstetrician-gynecologist, applying what she’s learned at Kresge to her career.

“What motivates me is to make my mom proud. She didn’t have the opportunity to graduate college. So, being able to even come this far and go further drives me,” said Cummings-Moore. “Also, being African American motivates me because sometimes it’s harder for us to get the same opportunities. That motivates me to work harder just because I have to work harder to get a foot in the door and be an example for others.”

In addition to her work and academic studies, she possesses a passion for dance. She dances on her university dance team and taught dance to Detroit’s youth.