Albi Taipi is a 2021-2022 Fellow. He considers both Canton, MI and Skopje, Macedonia his hometowns. Albi attended Wayne State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Honors) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.
Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.
My host company is Detroit Public Schools Community District. I work in the Government and Community Affairs department, where I do legislative tracking, work on digital communications, and learn about education policy.
Tell us about the challenge project you’re currently working on; what are you learning from the experience?
We just finished up Challenge 3 with the host company Brilliant Detroit. Our group was the Internal Dashboard Utilization team. We created an implementation plan for a data dashboard which will be utilized by Brilliant Detroit’s employees and stakeholders to look at neighborhood and community-level progress in education and other outcomes.
How do you hope to impact the community as a Fellow?
During my work with Challenge Detroit, I hope to help communities empower themselves. The communities I have met and worked with existed before my year with Challenge Detroit, and they will exist afterward. Being able to help with capacity building, outreach, and growth in the community has been very rewarding during this time, and I hope that the role I play leads to long-term growth for Detroiters.
Since becoming a Fellow, what new skill/skills have you gained?
I have learned a lot about using visual guides to accomplish project tasks. When we do our “ideation” work, we use a lot of Google Jamboard pages, sticky notes, and visual aides. I have learned that bringing creativity into a project results in a final product which is unique, responsive to the client, and considerate of multiple perspectives.
How do you believe your fellowship year will shape your career moving forward?
Through this fellowship, I have been grateful to make connections with my colleagues, mentors, and community builders; it has expanded my understanding of the type of work out there, and the type of work I am capable of doing! There are careers that I am now interested in that I hadn’t even considered prior to Challenge Detroit. Most importantly, it taught me how to innovate in whichever career and field I participate in.
If someone is reading this and considering applying to be a Fellow, share why you would encourage them to apply.
I would encourage any person interested in applying to look at the Challenge Detroit website and see what the fellowship looks like! If you have an interest in non-profit work, capacity building, and community projects, Challenge Detroit is a fantastic opportunity. It’s great for early-career professionals who may have graduated college recently, or for people who have been working but want to branch out. The skills, perspectives, and knowledge I have gained from Challenge Detroit are top tier. This is a great fellowship for anybody interested in making a difference. And if you don’t feel ready to apply yet, wait a year like I did and apply when you feel it’s the right time for you!