Native Detroiter, Jordan Truesdale is 2019-2020 Fellow. She has a bachelors in business and entrepreneurship from Columbia College in Chicago.

Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.

I am the Fellow at Chemical Bank, a division of TCF National Bank, where I support University Relations. My team is responsible for cultivating relationships with universities and early in career candidates through Internship and on-campus programming. I lead our Handshake Premium relationship, Microsoft Teams migration and am a proud member of the Diversity Initiative Council here at Chemical Bank.

Tell us about the challenge project you’re currently working on; what are you learning from the experience? 

Currently, the fellows and I are designing a youth conference for Detroit Public Schools Community District. We have learned so much about the past 20 years and present state of the Detroit Public Schools (now Community District) and the hard work the Family & Community Engagement team and other valuable stakeholders are doing to turn this education system around to benefit the 50,000 youth it serves.

How do you hope to impact the community this year?

I hope to truly and measurably further the initiatives of several Detroit based organizations through teamwork.

How do you believe your fellowship will shape your career moving forward?

Jordan volunteering at the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

I believe Challenge Detroit is building my leadership skills in unconventional ways. I can see myself learning more about how to follow [instead of leading] on some projects and flexing muscles I didn’t know I had on others. I believe I’ll find an organization I truly align with who I can be an asset to after the program.

Please share the most memorable moment you have experienced so far as a Fellow. Why was it memorable and how has it impacted you?

My most memorable experience thus far was at Pershing High School where we learned all about the DPSCD history and how it coincided with Detroit’s financial fall from grace. We took a tour led by student leaders. Senior Carlito Rivers took us to a freshman social studies class where some students began to rough house in the classroom. Rivers spoke up throughout the class to keep his peers on task, but at this moment he chose to “teach and not scold” by asking them why they chose to act out and encouraged making better choices. They listened and displayed a great attitude toward his mentorship. This was beautiful and I’ll never forget the hope it gave me for future generations.

If someone reading your interview is considering in applying to be a Fellow, why would you encourage them to apply?

If you are a creative thinker, problem solver, analytical mind, organizer or just plain passionate about guiding community, Challenge Detroit gives you an opportunity to get the best [several] worlds. The program creates the opportunity to gain further meaningful career experience while making tangible community impact and building soft skills.

Jordan reflecting on the year in Capitol Park, Detroit.

Jordan at The Siren

Jordan admiring the city after some coffee at her favorite boutique hotel, The Siren.