Challenge Detroit Names New Fellows for 2014


DETROIT — Challenge Detroit, a nonprofit social impact program that attracts and retains talent in metro Detroit, announced its 33 Year Three Fellows. They come from Michigan and across the country with 16 from the state and 17 from states including Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The 2014-2015 class will bring the program total to nearly 100 Fellows living, working, playing, giving, and leading in Detroit.

“I knew I wanted to contribute my energy to strengthening Detroit’s educational system when I took an alternative spring break trip during my junior year of college to Detroit and served at Highland Park School and the Dominican Literacy Center,” said Branden Bufford, a Year Three Fellow who will be working for Wayne County Community College District. “I couldn’t be more excited, or more ready, to take advantage of the opportunity to work, give, lead and live in my native city as part of Challenge Detroit.”

During the yearlong fellowship, each Challenge Detroit Fellow works at a host company, drawn from a range of Detroit’s leading organizations, including Chrysler, DTE Energy, the Detroit Lions, and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. In addition, Fellows work together on five-week social impact challenge projects in partnership with area nonprofits as well as participate in leadership development training and cultural engagement. Over the last two years, Challenge Detroit has supported the creation of approximately 60 new jobs and had a $2 million direct economic impact on the area.

“The next class of Fellows offers diversity of intellect, skills and experience, ranging from the environment, nonprofit administration, education, architecture and design, law, business, urban planning and more,” said Challenge Detroit’s program director, Shelley Danner. “We look forward to the innovative ideas, collaboration and enthusiasm the Year Three Fellows will bring.”

Challenge Detroit’s First and Second Year Fellows have made a substantial impact on the region. Fellows have contributed over 7,500 hours of service to the local community with non-profits including 826michigan, the Coalition on Temporary Shelter, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and Detroit Future City. Ninety percent of Year One Fellows continue to live and work in the Detroit area.

During their year in Detroit, fellows will share their stories through blogging, video, and social media platforms. Challenge Detroit’s third year begins on Sept. 2. For more information, and to meet all of the Year Three Fellows, visit