Through the program, nineteen mid-career professionals from Detroit and elsewhere will receive three weeks of immersive learning and team-building skills before stepping into assignments with Detroit organizations, where they will lead projects and initiatives in areas such as neighborhood and riverfront development, community engagement, public health, and placemaking. Selected from a national pool of more than three hundred and fifty applicants, the fourth cohort of fellows includes Shaffwan Ahmed, who will partner with Global Detroit; Nicole Brown (Detroit Future City); Julia Elmer (City of Detroit Health Department); Emilie Evans (Detroit RiverFront Conservancy); Samantha Fernandez Keys (Michigan Science Center); and Ted Jones (Detroit Public Schools Community School District).
Launched in 2011 and funded by Wayne State and the Kresge, Ford, Erb Family, Hudson-Webber, Knight, Skillman, DTE Energy, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher, and PwC Charitable foundations, the program is designed to attract top talent to Detroit and build the capacity of organizations at the forefront of local revitalization efforts. To date, sixty-seven fellows have led more than fifty high-impact projects, with over 75 percent of them choosing to remain in the city after completing their two-year appointments.
"Fellows have brought talent and creativity to bear on critical community needs time and time again," said Bryan P. Hogle, Detroit program officer for the Kresge Foundation. "The program's long-term impact goes beyond the contributions of now eighty-six individual professionals. Detroit will reap benefits from the network of fellows and alums who can call on one another for advice and inspiration in tackling some of the most vexing challenges we face as a city and a region."