Callie Brantley is a 2021-2022 Challenge Detroit Fellow from Detroit. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Television and Digital Media Production, with a minor in Film, at Ferris State University. She is also a Certified H.I.V. Tester & Educator in the State of Michigan and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.
Teen Hype is a 501(c)(3) youth development organization—a collective of young people and caring adults committed to the mission to Celebrate Youth, Confront Barriers and Build Bridges. Teen Hype empowers urban youth to thrive while strengthening their communities, helping to prepare the next generation of leaders.
At Teen HYPE, I am the Manager of Youth Leadership and I currently oversee youth development and prevention programming for Teen HYPE’S Peer Educators. I facilitate readiness and risk avoidance programming as well as continue to support Teen HYPE’s youth in planning and producing their annual stage production. Over the years, I have gained experience facilitating in-school programming, haver served as an ambassador and advisor working with the Youth Advisory Council.
Tell us about a challenge project you’ve worked on; what have you learned from the experience?
I’ve learned so much as a Challenge fellow with every project! For the project with Brilliant Detroit! I was the team lead, and it was especially enlightening because I usually provide programs for teens and I was able to see what it looks like to support the 0-8 age group. With the design thinking technique, I’ve learned the process and organizational skills to create and implement new ideas and systems. I have advanced in and gained experience in project and team management with the opportunity provided to me to be a team lead. Most of all, I have been able to gain more confidence in public speaking and presenting.
How do you hope to impact the community as a Fellow?
I hope to be able to partner and pair our teens with Brilliant Detroit and similar organizations to allow the Teens to work with and for the younger generation.
Since becoming a Fellow, what new skill/skills have you gained?
Two skills I learned that I hope to apply often are project management and design thinking.
What has been your biggest takeaway from your time as a Fellow so far and how has it impacted you?
My biggest take away is I can do more than I think I can, if I just try. The more I try, the better I do. The more I do, the more I learn.
What would you say to the incoming class of Fellows?
Something I would say to the incoming Fellows is to lean in, come ready to learn, laugh and work hard! You can only get something out of this if you put something into it.