“Apply to be a Challenge Detroit Fellow for a transformative journey blending professional growth with community impact. It’s an opportunity to make a difference, gain invaluable insights, and collaborate with exemplary people and organizations, all while fostering personal and professional growth. – Cheng Zhang

Giving Back

When I first arrived in Michigan back in 2017, my focus was on rekindling my career after taking a break to care for my family. After careful consideration, I decided to pursue studies in Computer Science at Wayne State University. Eager to supplement my education with practical skills, I enrolled in the ExperienceIT program, a non-profit initiative offering technical training for aspiring IT professionals. Upon completing the program, I secured a position as a database administrator at OneMagnify, where I’ve been working ever since.

During my time at ExperienceIT, I was deeply moved by a leader’s emphasis on the importance of giving back to the community. Their words resonated with me, prompting me to seek out opportunities to contribute to the city that had provided me with so much support in my career journey. This led me to apply for Challenge Detroit, a program aimed at fostering community engagement and positive change.

Participating in Challenge Detroit has been a transformative experience for me. Not only have I been able to give back to the community, but I’ve also gained invaluable insights into the city’s vibrant culture and the multitude of non-profit organizations working tirelessly to improve it. I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with exemplary organizations such as Detroit Parks Coalition and Wayne Metro, witnessing firsthand the dedication of their leaders and the impact of their work.

Throughout this process, I’ve found immense fulfillment in contributing to initiatives aimed at enhancing the development of our community. It’s been a humbling journey, one that has reinforced my belief in the power of collective action and the importance of giving back. As I continue to grow both personally and professionally, I remain committed to leveraging my skills and experiences to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the city.

ABOUT: My name is Cheng Zhang, and I grew up in HengYang, China. I graduated from Wayne State University in December 2022 with a M.A. in Computer Science and am a Database Administrator at OneMagnify. I enjoy reading, Yoga, and outdoor activities like skiing, camping, hiking.