For Challenge Detroit, us fellows get together and work on 5 different Challenge projects throughout the duration of the fellowship year. For each project, we are placed with different nonprofit partners and work to build capacity in anyway that the non profit feels is necessary for their overall growth. For example, for the current Challenge project, I am working with ProsperUS, a Detroit based entrepreneurial training and small business lending program, with 4 co-fellows to create an outreach toolkit that can help them to better reach immigrant entrepreneurs who could benefit from applying for their micro lending program.

For every Challenge, we use the human-centered design approach, which is a problem-solving framework that the other fellows and I are still working on mastering. It has been great to learn this process as a team. From June 2-July 27, we will be doing our individual impact projects, giving us the opportunity to practice using this approach on our own, becoming more confident with it, so we can continue to use it once to fellowship ends.

We were able to pick the non-profit of our choice, based on our interests, passions and future goals. I chose to work with East Side Community Network for my impact project because I am very interested in learning more about community development on the east side of Detroit, which is where I currently reside. This summer, I will be helping their youth council plan/prepare, and fundraise for the opening of their youth center this summer, which will be called The Vault.

I visited the center a few weeks back and met the members of the youth council. They are fun, energetic and passionate. I look forward to learning more about the east side of Detroit, and helping to equip youth residents with the skills necessary to be leaders in their community. I also look forward to advancing my skills in design thinking.

Gabrial Taylor

Year 5 Challenge Detroit Fellow

The Vault will be a teen center located in ECN’s headquarters at 4401 Conner St. The center will provide youth in the area with a safe space to socialize, learn and interact with each other. More information will be available soon.

If you are interested in donating visit :