Marisol Dorantes-Silva is a 2021-2022 Fellow. She immigrated from Mexico 24 years ago and grew up in Rochester Hills, MI. She attended and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University.

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

My host company is DTE and I work in Public Affairs. I have a really great supervisor that has given me a lot of latitude in the work for which I am responsible. The projects vary but they all center around connecting with the communities DTE serves, improving our relationships with them, and creating deep and meaningful impact.

Kevin, Bella, and Marisol were part of the DTE van deployment team stationed in Dearborn on Dec 13. After weekend storms and high winds, DTE sends out supply vans to communities affected by power outages. That day we passed out cases of water, gift cards for Tim Hortons, blankets, chargers, and flashlights.

Tell us about a challenge project you worked on; what did you learn from the experience?

We worked with Marygrove Conservancy. My team was tasked with raising awareness of the culture bearers in the Live6 community. Through this assignment I learned that this small section of the Detroit community is exploding with movers and shakers. It’s been beautiful to see that no matter what level of recognition each person is at, they want to use their work to uplift not only themselves but also the community.

How do you hope your time as a Fellow impacts the community?

I hope that my efforts as a Fellow can be a part of the lift these astounding organizations need to reach the next echelon of their lofty goals. The non-profits that we work with all started with one or two people wanting to make an enormous change and having the courage to activate their dreams. It’s an exciting privilege to be able to add my voice and experiences to those efforts.

Since becoming a Fellow, what is something you have learned about Detroit that has positively impacted your perspective on the city?

During our orientation, we had the opportunity to explore many different areas of the city with people that lived and worked there. These experiences were incredible because it highlighted how many talented people are working tirelessly to better Detroit while preserving and celebrating the cultures of every community. It’s much more common to hear about what is lacking or the downside of revitalization but these days were a reminder that even when positive change isn’t being showcased, Detroit is rife with good people doing great work for and in the city.

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

Moving forward, I hope to be more fearless in taking on leadership roles. In the past, I have developed into those roles organically but intentionally seeking them out has felt intimidating. At CD, the quick timeline by which each project is developed and completed has pushed me to be more decisive, intentional, and sure of my abilities as a leader.

If someone is reading this and considering applying to be a Fellow, why you would encourage them to apply?

The exposure to the people and organizations we work with is second to none. Having worked in and around Detroit for almost a decade, I know that this city moves through relationships. My growth, both personally and professionally, is greatly linked to mentorships and partnerships and this is a great opportunity to create relationships that can blossom into either.