Katie Ferriby is a 2022-2023 Fellow. Her host company is Brilliant Detroit where she is a Program Support Specialist. Learn more about Katie below.


I love being by the water! Moving back to Michigan was one of the best choices I have made. Nothing beats the Great Lakes!

Graduating college, I felt like I was coming out of a haze. Whether it was burnout or COVID brain, I did not feel energized by my work or hobbies. Moving into a year of work and fellowship, I am focused on one of our core pillars – Live. 

In many ways, I lost myself in college. I quit reading for fun, barely working out, became very introverted, and so many other qualities of myself fell to the wayside. I knew I needed to be reinvigorated in my work and discover what excites me. Blessed with a job at a nonprofit I love, I was also fortunate enough to be accepted into the Challenge Detroit fellowship. Besides the incredible, meaningful work that I get to do, Challenge Detroit has brought me so many incredible role models. 

The other Challenge Detroit fellows are some of the most interesting people I have ever met. From learning about people’s interests, crafts, businesses, vacations, identities, and more, I reflect on the pieces of me I see in them. One of our most recent activities we were asked to offer what we can give to others and what we would like help with. Brown paper bags were placed under our posters inviting others to offer assistance or to connect about a shared interest. As someone who struggles with social anxiety, this activity allowed me to open up to my peers. The notecards I received have helped me further reflect upon how I see myself and gain advice on where to go from here. I have not felt this connected in four years, finding hope and inspiration from my new friends. 

This new year, I have goals around finding who I am outside of school and work. With all of the life changes that 2022 and 2023 have brought me, I hope to see the most change in myself. I could not ask for a more supportive environment as I rediscover what makes me feel alive.

About Me: My name is Katie Ferriby (she/her) and I am from Troy, Michigan. I went to Ohio State where I double majored in political science and sociology. I am passionate about reproductive justice and trans* rights. In my free time, I like to weight lift, climb, and read!

 Why should someone apply to be a Challenge Detroit Fellow?

“You should join Challenge Detroit since you learn something new every single day. Learning from my peers and Detroiters has transformed my perspective, interests, and career goals.”