While I may only be six months into my own Challenge Detroit journey, I have known about Challenge Detroit for years through the program’s biggest advocates – its alumni. Ever since I moved to Detroit, I have interacted with remarkable young professionals who excel at work, know all the happenings in the city, and are passionate about the Detroit community. I learned that many of these individuals had something in common – they were all Challenge Detroit Alumni.

Flash-forward to today, when I myself am completing my Challenge Detroit year, and I am lucky to have DTE as my host company. This year alone DTE is hosting five fellows, and we have many alumni fellows still on staff, including my boss, Alissa, and my Corporate Citizenship teammate, Tina.

I go through all of this to say, that I have had the pleasure of interacting with a number of Challenge Detroit alumni, both professionally and socially, since living in Detroit and have become quite an expert on being able to pick-out the Challenge alum in the crowd. If you come across someone anywhere from 8 Mile to the Detroit River who exhibits the qualities below, you might be interacting with a Challenge Detroit Alumni.

A Challenge Detroit Alumni is someone who spends their work day leading innovation and change at a company or non-profit that seeks to make an impact in the city, and then, they dedicate their free time to continue making a social impact in the city.

A Challenge Detroit Alumni is someone who will not only tell you the newest bar or restaurant to check out this weekend, but will also give you a double-sided, single-spaced list of their favorite spots across.  

A Challenge Detroit Alumni is someone who will not turn down a Happy Hour, or the opportunity to experience the beautiful view of downtown from Belle Isle.

A Challenge Detroit Alumni is someone who genuinely wants to know what drives you and how you are interested in getting involved in the city, and then, they’ll set you up with all the contacts they know in that field.

A Challenge Detroit Alumni is someone whose passion radiates in all they do, someone who seeks to overcome obstacles that may seem insurmountable, someone who empowers everyone around them to make an impact in the city that they love.