Jaylyn King is a 2022-2023 Fellow at Detroit at Work where he is a Small Business Engagement Coordinator. Learn more about Jaylyn below.
A lot to learn
Coming into my fellowship as a resident and native Detroiter, I felt I already had a comprehensive understanding of the city. This program has opened my eyes to how much I didn’t know and how much there is to learn. I have met many people who have reinforced my understanding of how robust and prosperous Detroit is. Serving at my host company Detroit at Work, as a Small Business Engagement Coordinator has revealed so much to me about how complex and powerful the ecosystem of small businesses is in the city. I’ve learned to love and lift up small businesses across the city because they play an integral role in the prosperity of neighborhoods throughout Detroit.
During the program’s first weeks, we took part in a tour of the city hosted by Jeanette Pierce from The City Institute. One moment in particular that stuck out to me most was when we met with Mark Covington from the Georgia Street Community Collective. The significance of the work he is doing for the community is immeasurable. Providing residents access to healthy food options and a community center with a computer lab and library is extraordinary. In speaking with Mark, I was surprised to know that Mark knew most of my family and is good friends with my parents. The closeness and sincerity resonated and made me want to uplift his work even more. I had grown up and went to school ten minutes away from the Georgia Street Collective and never once paid any attention to it. It’s experiences like this that make Challenge Detroit so rewarding. I’ve been exposed to many awesome people, organizations, and businesses. Ultimately, I’ve learned that if you want to make a difference in communities you have to get out and meet people where they are. Go out into their spaces, figure out what they need, and listen to what they want. Real change happens when you listen to the people you’re serving alongside.
My name is Jaylyn King, and I am from the Eastside of Detroit, Michigan. I attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in African and African American Studies. I am a graduate student at Wayne State University, and I am studying Urban Planning with a concentration on Housing and Community Development. I am a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and in my free time, I enjoy reading nonfiction books and running 5 K races.