For our first challenge of the 2022-2023 program year, we were excited to partner with Detroit at Work, the City of Detroit workforce development agency, powered by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, a Michigan Works! Agency. Five teams of Fellows worked collaboratively with Detroit at Work (DaW) and the Community Health Corps (CHC) staff as well as community stakeholders to deliver this project – learn more from the perspective of each team! 

As we went through the first day of the Challenge Project, the information provided about Detroit at Work (DAW) and Community Health Corps (CHC) was both complex and intriguing. With two of our teammates missing at the kickoff meeting, we were working to keep up with hearing about so many processes from an internal side of CHC while also taking extensive notes.

From the stakeholder interviews, we gained enough feedback to begin designing our “How Might We” questions. Comparing our progress to that of the other groups was an obstacle we had to overcome, as they had their walls filled with sticky notes while we were still reworking our questions. We initially felt discouraged, but eventually, we bounced back from our negative reactions. We reframed our mindset as Shelley encouraged us to not stress about our questions as much and begin working on ideation.

As a team, we worked well to narrow in on solid and feasible ideas for deliverables after brainstorming. We also naturally split into different teams based on our strengths to build out the following deliverables: a survey for organizations to provide their feedback about their relationship with CHC, strength evaluation based on referral completion rate, a meeting flyer, a template for meeting agendas, and a newsletter template. Creating time to meet with Team 5, who was working on a project that tied into ours, was also helpful in ensuring our deliverables stayed within the scope of our project. 

From that point forward, we became more confident in our work. Our liaisons served as our cheerleaders and seeing the excitement on our liaisons’ faces to implement the ideas we brought to life instilled pride in us. Reflecting on our personal and team strengths, we have grown so much in these last seven weeks. Not only did we finish our project with lasting, creative work for CHC but also with new, lasting friendships.

Written by Fellow Team: Desiree Quinn, Serena Bowers, Ryan Wingfield, Ahvae Richards, Jennifer Panergo, and Ian Hogg