Kelsey at the Ally Challenge in 2019 where over $1.5M was raised for local charities. She volunteered during the day and was able to attend the Dierks Bentley concert in the evening.

Kelsey Manoogian, a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s in statistics, is a 2019-2020 Fellow at Ally Financial. Kelsey grew up in Livonia, Michigan and is currently completing her masters in statistics at North Carolina State University.

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

I work for Ally and have been there for 5 and ½ years. I work in marketing where I develop predictive models to be used in targeted marketing efforts.

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

I am currently working with Rebel Nell T.E.A. to build out an evaluation and feedback process for their Money Relationships educational program. I have learned many different perspectives on money and how people’s relationship with money as a child can impact their adulthood so much. My team is working to develop techniques and methods of analyzing the impact of the program and how much the participants take away from it.

Kelsey and her team during empathy interviews for the Rebel Nell T.E.A. project.

How do you hope to impact the community this year?

I hope by the end of the program, I am able to find organizations that could use my skill set and would allow me to volunteer with them in the future.

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

If someone is new to their career and unsure of what type of work they want to do, Challenge Detroit can connect them to many different companies and resources all while immersing them in the city. The networking that naturally occurs through every challenge project is tremendous. Not to mention the work we do to help non-profits is significant and makes you feel really good after each presentation.

A memorable photo of the Birwood Wall during the Black Scrolls tour from Fellow orientation week. “It was an extremely informative and impactful tour where racism, segregation, and inequality were discussed.

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 fondest memory so far was after our first challenge project presentation when our partner was in tears. She described how the work we did was more than she could have ever dreamed of and would have required her to hire so many people that she wouldn’t ever have the resources to do. It was very fulfilling to know that we did something that will reach so many students that maybe would not have been completed without our efforts.

Since becoming a Fellow, what have you learned?

I didn’t realize what a “small world” Detroit was until this program. I feel as though everywhere I go someone knows of Challenge Detroit or the people I am working with on different projects. The network that I have joined is pretty vast and it has been fun to see the connections along the way.