Help Move Detroit Forward

Challenge Detroit cultivates diverse, innovative, community-minded leaders from the city and across the country, fostering their talents to intellectually support local initiatives. Each year, we invite around 30 individuals to join us in making an impact in Detroit. As a Challenge Detroit Host Company, you’ll employ one of our Fellows for one program year, support their leadership development, and play an integral role in our ability to move Detroit forward.

  • As a founding partner, DTE Energy has supported Challenge Detroit through sponsorship, board service and hosting 21 Fellows in eight years. During that time, our Fellows have been forward-thinking and community-minded, bringing unique perspectives and passion to both their work at DTE and with nonprofits in neighborhoods across the city. Challenge Detroit Fellows are some of the best kept secrets in our city, and we look forward to having more of these amazingly smart, hardworking and dedicated individuals.

    — Nancy Moody, Vice President Public Affairs, DTE Energy


Note: The information and details below have not been updated for the 2022-2023 application cycle and program year. We will update this information closer to when our application opens. In the meantime, if you have questions please email [email protected]


How it works

  • We design our recruitment process to attract community-minded leaders from Detroit and across the country.
  • We work closely with you from candidate recruitment and the initial application to the interview process to identify the best fit for your organization.
  • Throughout the year, your selected Fellow will grow as a leader through Challenge Detroit programming and be a valuable contribution to your team.

The commitment

  • You will employ a Fellow for one-year (September – August).
  • You will grant your Fellow flexibility to engage with Challenge Detroit each Friday.
  • You will provide your Fellow a $38,000 salary plus company benefits for those hired from our pool of candidates, or a discretionary salary to one of your current employees.
  • You will support Challenge Detroit’s recruitment process and year-long program facilitation with a $12,000* programming fee.

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

The impact of your support

  • Intensive talent acquisition, recruitment and admissions.
  • Over 50 programmed days including on-boarding orientation, in-depth learning sessions and conversations with leaders, team building immersions, challenge project execution and presentations, and facilitated leadership development sessions and workshops on topics such as race, power and equity, community development, design thinking, project management, communications and more!
  • Several signature events, networking opportunities, and social and cultural immersion experiences.
  • High-touch experience, including individualized support of Fellow throughout the program year.
  • Critical planning, strategy and operations to support talent acquisition and programming.
  • Support our work done in collaboration with local nonprofits.
Questions? Please email Deirdre Groves at [email protected]

Click here to download our Executive Summary.