I remember a time when cell phones with GPS navigation did not exist yet and I only knew how to get to downtown Detroit by taking Michigan Avenue east from Dearborn. Fast forward to present day and a gift of advance technology, there was still much of Detroit I had not traveled through. It wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to visit specific areas of Detroit I had never been. Challenge Detroit offered a full immersion of Detroit, through Detroit Experience Factory,  by exposing the fellows to a rich history lesson of Detroit, a great meal, and a social breakdown of siloed neighborhoods. Fellows were captivated by the rich culture that Detroit has to offer and its resilience to ever-changing economic trends.

Our orientation week was jam packed with tours and important lessons but most notably we had the opportunity to challenge ourselves through team building and personal obstacles by visiting a high-element challenge course. I once served as a certified ropes course facilitator, so naturally I thought the challenge course would be a piece of cake- I was extremely wrong! There was a moment of pause when I reached the top and suddenly realized how high up I was and my body suddenly went into panic mode. I had forgotten how to be in the heights and feel ok with the uncomfortable. I had to relearn to push myself into the uncomfortable in order to tackle the obstacle. Although this wasn’t a typical Challenge Detroit challenge, it succeeded at reframing what it meant to be personally challenged.

All in all, orientation week gave the fellows a small glimpse of the upcoming year. From day one, we were exposed to Detroit learning how live, play, work, give, and lead.

If you’re not a reader and are more visual like me, I made it super easy to get a glimpse of our orientation week!