“Challenge Detroit is such a unique experience in that it allows you to work while also giving you the opportunity to help out with nonprofits that you otherwise probably would not have had the chance to. I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know my fellow Fellows, and it’s nice to know that there are so many other people (current Fellows, alum, and other CD associates) who are dedicated to the city. I’m definitely looking forward to volunteering and helping out with more Detroit-area nonprofits once the fellowship is over. – Kim Swinehart


Putting My Roots Down

Just in the short time since we were introduced to our third project with the Joe Louis Greenway, I’m so glad we get to have Leona Medley as our liaison for the next couple of months and hearing her and others in the surrounding community connected to the project talk about the Greenway and the city in general was very insightful.

One thing that Leona and others touched on during the project kickoff day that really had an effect on me was how difficult it has been to keep young people in metro Detroit as many of these people are taking their talents and expertise away to other cities like Chicago and NYC. This is something that I’ve been grappling with a lot personally over the past year or so as my friends and I have finished college and many of them have moved out of the state for work. I’ve always loved living in the Midwest and Michigan in particular, as it’s where I’ve grown up for the past twenty-five years. However, when I’ve looked at the people in my life who have left the area to go somewhere else, I can’t help but feel like I’m not successful because I’m not doing the same thing. 

Listening to Leona and other community leaders talk about how important it is for young people to get involved in nonprofit work, block clubs, etc. has made me realize just how important it is for me to stay in metro Detroit and put down my roots here. Detroit is such a special place with so much happening that I would like to be a part of, and so much left to explore and learn about that I don’t know. I can only imagine how out of place I would feel anywhere else.


Me and some friends during this past new years eve.

ABOUT: Hi, my name is Kim! I grew up just outside of Detroit in Taylor, Michigan. I went to the University of Michigan for both undergrad and grad school, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and urban studies and a master’s degree in urban planning. I am a Fellow at the Detroit Land Bank Authority where I am a Real Estate Project Liaison. When I’m not working, I enjoy doing any sort of trivia game (always willing to watch Jeopardy), discovering new music, walking dogs at the animal shelter, collecting trinkets, and laughing about memes with my roommates.