Tell us about living in Detroit. What neighborhood do you live in and what makes your neighborhood unique?
Currently, I live in the historic neighborhood of West Village. West Village is unique because most homes in the community were built in the early 1900’s and most of the original architecture still remains in good condition. One reason why I moved to West Village was because of its charm, but also because it felt like a neighborhood in another world that was away from the traffic of downtown. Belle Isle is also in walking distance of my house, including Sister Pie, Red Hook and a lovely mural by the well-known artist Ouizi. I feel lucky to be a member of the West Village community and living in one of those homes built in the early 1900’s. I am living every Fixer Upper fan’s dream.
What have you learned from Challenge Detroit so far?
I’ve learned a lot of things since Challenge Detroit has started. I’m learning the value of a strong community and how I can utilize my skill sets to become more involved in my own. I’m learning how to connect with other young professionals who are passionate about advocating Detroit’s Arts & Culture and rich history which has inspired me to embrace the city as my own and work towards identifying my role in it as an individual.
Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization
My host company is Goldfish Swim School where I work as their Junior Graphic Designer. Goldfish is a fast-growing franchise that teaches swim lessons to kids from 4 months old to 12 years of age with a focus on swim safety. I’m grateful to be hosted by a company that values young kids and has offered me the opportunity to fill the role as their Junior Graphic Designer where I can grow my skillset. At Goldfish, I make all of the daily creative pieces that the franchisees request, which can be anything from ads, flyers, social media images and more. I’m also taking on different roles by creating videos and motion graphics which I am very passionate about.
What kind of impact do you hope to have with your host company and within the city?
I hope to continue to grow as a designer and person every day with my host company and with Challenge Detroit. After recently working with the Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) I saw an opportunity for DBG and my host company (Goldfish) to partner in a way that could be beneficial for both parties. Currently, we are working on an event where the students of DBG can to learn water safety skills as well as have some fun with our swim lessons!
Within the city, I hope to continue to grow the community that I currently live in, as well as bring more of the art and culture world of downtown to the neighborhoods. There are always design events happening 10-15 minutes away from all of all of the neighborhoods which doesn’t often feel accessible to the people living outside of it. That is something I hope I can really make an impact on.
What are you most looking forward to for the second half of your year as a Fellow?
I am most looking forward to my impact project for my second half of the year. I am very passionate about bringing the art community to the neighborhoods that are poorly utilized and under-resourced when it comes to development. I feel like this project is my opportunity to focus and combine my passion as a young professional in a city that I am also passionate about.
What do you envision for Detroit 10 years from now?
I hope that 10 years from now Detroit has continued to retain its rich history, but also marked a new future for itself. A future with stronger communities, better transportation, and hopefully streets with no potholes (haha). More than anything, I want the rest of the world to look at Detroit as a place to model after, not to fear, and to look at with positive eyes.
To learn even more about Brooke’s experience in Detroit this year check out her spotlight video below!