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SMC Luncheon Speaker: Deirdre Groves of Challenge Detroit

Deirdre Groves, left, with President Chris Walsh and former Fellows of Challenge Detroit

Deirdre Groves, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Challenge Detroit was the Senior Men’s Club Luncheon Speaker on Tuesday, May 14th. Deirdre gave us a short history of Challenge Detroit and then introduced four former Fellows of Challenge Detroit and asked them to tell their story.

Challenge Detroit is a leadership and professional development program that invites approximately 30 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play, give, and lead in and around the greater Detroit area for one year. During the course of the year, Fellows contribute intellectually and through hands-on service making incremental impact in the community. Learning by doing is a cornerstone of the program and the Fellows have the courage, passion, and drive to make a difference. Challenge Detroit was founded in 2008 by Doyle Mosher and Deirdre Groves. Both saw the need to attract and retain young talent in the greater Detroit area. And, in the true spirit of entrepreneurialism, the two made countless sacrifices to bring the idea to reality.

Fellows live in Detroit and around the city of Detroit engaging in the city throughout their daily lives.  Each Fellow works for a host company in Detroit approximately four days per week. One day a week they participate in challenge projects designed to positively impact the community while keeping the Fellows as well as the followers of Challenge Detroit engaged.

Challenge Detroit has continued the success of the program. When the program launched in 2012, the city was facing its largest population decline in its history. Since that time, Challenge Detroit has attracted over 4,000 applicants and drawn nearly 225 leaders to join as Fellows. Following each year, approximately75% of the Fellows receive offers from their host companies and 85% make their home in Detroit.

For more info on Challenge Detroit, see their website.

Thank you, Deirdre and your four Fellows, for reporting on this new venture in Detroit.

Reported by George Arsenault

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