“I would encourage someone to apply to be a Fellow because Challenge Detroit provides the perfect platform for individual growth while actively contributing to positive change within the city of Detroit. – Tori Silvester


As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, each day brings fresh opportunities for growth and discovery. Among the skills I’ve developed, conducting stakeholder interviews with confidence and empathy stands out.

Stakeholder interviews are crucial in every challenge project as well as the design thinking process. Balancing the need for information with genuine empathy can be tough. However, as a Challenge Detroit Fellow, I’ve learned to navigate this balance effectively.

In the past few months, I’ve realized that it’s not just about asking the right questions; it’s also about actively listening and understanding diverse perspectives. Handling different opinions while maintaining empathy has been a valuable skill I’ve acquired.

Every Challenge Project has allowed me to enhance my interview skills. Each experience has taught me valuable lessons that inform my approach to the next interview. This continuous learning has boosted my confidence and ability to adapt to various situations.

Successful stakeholder interviews extend beyond information gathering; they cultivate trust and understanding. Throughout the fellowship, I’ve honed the skill of creating meaningful connections with stakeholders, ensuring they feel appreciated and understood.

In essence, my ability to conduct stakeholder interviews with confidence and empathy is a skill that I have successfully developed through my time as a Challenge Detroit Fellow. I am grateful for the opportunity to carry this skill forward into my next endeavor. 

Celebrating Halloween with my DLBA team.

ABOUT: Hi, my name is Tori Silvester. I grew up in Canton, MI and currently still live there. I attended Michigan State University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 2022. I am currently working at the Detroit Land Bank Authority on the Real Estate and Disposition team. When I am not at work I enjoy trying new recipes and traveling with my friends.