The Challenge Detroit Community Leader Fellow (CLF) track is one of three ways candidates can apply to be a Fellow. CLF candidates are currently employed in the community space—they are either working at a nonprofit organization or in a community-facing role in a for-profit company in the Metro Detroit area and have a minimum of a high school diploma/GED and relevant work experience.

Organizations who are interested in becoming a host, please email Deirdre Groves at [email protected]


Candidates who:

  • represent a diverse range of race, ethnicity, gender identity, orientation, thought, experience, perspective and ability, 
  • are passionate, dedicated, proactive, hard-working, innovative, adaptable and have a growth mindset,
  • will have a minimum of a high school diploma/GED and relevant work experience by the time the program begins in September, 
  • able to read, write and speak in English (candidates who are able to communicate in more than one language are welcome), and
  • are currently employed in the community space (working at a nonprofit organization or in a community-facing role in a for-profit company in the Metro Detroit area).

Learn more about our full requirements here


Should a candidate become a Fellow, host organizations support professional and leadership development for their Fellow, including but not limited to over 50 programmed days and experiences including:

  • high-touch experience, which includes individualized support of Fellow throughout the program year,
  • on-boarding & orientation,
  • access to alumni and executive mentors,
  • access to cultural and professional events,
  • in-depth learning/historical tours that provide context for where Detroit is today,
  • conversations with leaders from various sectors,
  • creative, meaningful virtual and/or hybrid programming,
  • challenge project execution and presentations, which contribute innovative thinking and intellectual capital to philanthropic efforts in the city and region,
  • facilitated team-building immersions and leadership development sessions, and
  • workshops on topics such as race and equity, design thinking, project management, public speaking and communications.


Host organizations:

  • are invited to signature Challenge Detroit events including project presentations and celebrations,
  • are recognized as Challenge Detroit partners,
  • play an active role in the forward progress of our city and region by supporting the work of Fellows in the community,
  • network with like-minded organizations and leaders, and
  • support their Fellow to grow as a leader through Challenge Detroit programming.


  • Fellows are employed at their host organization for the duration of the program year (September 2021 – August 2022),
  • On Monday – Thursday, Fellows gain valuable career skills through employment at their host organization,
  • Every Friday, Fellows work together with local nonprofits on innovative challenges designed to positively contribute to our community,
  • Fellows are given a discretionary salary by their host organization, and
  • The host organization pays a programming fee* to Challenge Detroit to support their Fellow’s leadership development during the program year.

*Scholarships for programming fee may be provided based on organization need and funding availability. Please email Deirdre Groves at [email protected] for more information.

Download the CLF packet here.

Still want to know more? Click here to read our FAQs.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are a cornerstone of Challenge Detroit. We believe that all persons are entitled to equal opportunity. We do not discriminate against qualified applicants because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, genetic characteristic, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. We strive to create and support a culture where people can be themselves and feel included while including others. We value a diverse representation of individuals from near and far, across races and ethnicities, gender experience and orientation, skills, experience and abilities. Diversity of thought and perspective are essential to our work.