Diamonique Thomas is a 2022-2023 Fellow at Quinn Evans Architects. Learn more about Diamonique below
3 Major Impacts For this Challenge Fellow
Detroit’s mesh of cultures has always been something that I’ve been nearly distant from. It was a place I only came to for 4th of July Fireworks or if it was “Bring Your Kid to Work” day with my dad at the Renaissance Center, but never a regular destination. Not much about that changed even as I got a bit older, mainly because I didn’t know what to do or where to (or where not to) go in Detroit for new experiences. Since I’ve joined this fellowship, I’m in Detroit basically everyday and experiencing so many new venues, eateries, shops, and so much more.
Speaking of being in Detroit all the time, I work in midtown at my host company for the fellowship. Being in Detroit within a work environment is an even greater perspective of Detroit. I’m on the team responsible for overseeing construction at Michigan Central Station. It’s located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, and just driving through the town I get to witness how history has progressed, yet not forgotten. Not to mention that I get to walk around this 100 year old train station that I never even knew existed until now. Being immersed in the history of this city on the regular has had such an impact on how I think of Detroit.
In January 2020, everyone’s lives changed in a way we’ve never experienced before. Suddenly, the world was a lot scarier and people (necessarily) became more isolated. I finished my last year of undergrad from my apartment with my two cats and my boyfriend; I even graduated virtually from my parent’s living room with about 10 socially distanced, mask veiled people; and still I was one of the lucky ones. Over that time I became used to being by myself and doing most things alone because that’s just how it was, as I patiently waited for this to all be over and done with and move on to what was once normal. Fast forward to 2022, and the “demic” as I’ve satirically named it, seemed to be fading and normal life was on the horizon. Yet… surprisingly I had a hard time getting back to a sense of normalcy. All of that changed when I became a Challenge Detroit Fellow. I’m surrounded by so many people who seemed to resonate the same feelings I’d been overwhelmed with. Being involved in so many activities, meeting amazing people (and enjoying great food) in the company of my peers within the fellowship is lifting that scary veil just a little more everyday.
….and I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of what Detroit has to offer.
Hi, my name is Diamonique Thomas and I am a 2022-2023 Challenge Detroit Fellow. I grew up in the Metro-Detroit area of Macomb for most of my life and frequent the city of Detroit. I’m a graduate of Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Architecture. My host company for the fellowship is Quinn Evans Architects in midtown where I’m part of the construction administration team for the Michigan Central Station project.
Why should someone apply to be a Fellow?
Being a Challenge Detroit Fellow is a great opportunity to step into your career while also getting involved in non-profit work for the city of Detroit. There’s so many facets of Detroit that I never knew about until I joined the fellowship, and it makes me feel good to know that the work we do makes a difference.