Amani Abuelenain is a 2022-2023 Fellow at DTE where she is a Corporate Social Responsibility Fellow. Learn more about Amani below.


Amani Abuelenain, her sister, and mother walking around Chicago.

In the past, I have struggled to use creativity, in the traditional sense of what is viewed as creative, as an adjective to describe my strengths. Attempting to brainstorm in the moment was not always easy for me. I was capable of producing solutions and ideas, but I needed time to look over and absorb the given materials, and I was also aware that there was potential for growth. I became discouraged and frustrated by the notion that I might not be “creative” in the same way that others were. I have tried different methods to generate ideas through a process that was typically viewed as “creative,” but it seemed futile. At one point, I was debating the notion of simply accepting my state as it was and focusing on my other strengths when presenting myself. However, through Challenge Detroit, I was offered the opportunity to view myself as a creative person, when I never possessed the confidence to do so in the past. 

Design thinking is regularly recognized in conjunction with Challenge Detroit. It is consistently highlighted by the program, fellows, host companies, alumni, and others. It is what compelled me to apply to the program. I was looking for a platform to assist me in refining my current skills and acquiring new ones. However, I don’t think I could have ever anticipated what this way of thinking could have done for me. It is a technique that has provided me with the space needed to absorb and process information, to brainstorm ideas and solutions that I previously believed I could not expect of myself. It has proven to me that I am creative, that I possess the strength of constructing ideas that are both helpful and unexpected. It allowed me to accept that I was in need of a process that adequately gives me time to process information before brainstorming. It is a skill that has not only become influential and applicable to my work at both Challenge and my host company, but in my life outside of work. My anticipation for all that the fellowship still has to offer has continued to grow since the beginning of this program and I could not be more grateful for this experience. 

 About Amani:

My name is Amani Abuelenain and my hometown is Dearborn, MI. I graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a degree in Health and Human Services. I am making more time for embroidery this year and I love to take walks during my lunch break. I am involved with Environmental Health Research-to-Action (EHRA), an organization dedicated to educating youth about environmental health and justice.

Why should someone apply to be a Fellow?

Becoming a Fellow provides you with the opportunity to develop an array of skills in such a short amount of time and it is an experience where you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who also want to grow throughout their time in the fellowship. Challenge Detroit constructs a space that is understanding and looking to help you develop beyond what you expect for yourself.