YPSILANTI — Five Eastern Michigan University students have been accepted into Google’s Community Leader’s Program, a volunteer operation in which students help equip local small businesses and non-profits to compete in the digital age. The five EMU students, Mahdi Alkadib, Patrick Cotter, Joseph Wendl, Robert Larson, and Sean Tseng, will work with various local businesses and organizations throughout southeastern Michigan, introducing them to tactical Google tools like Google+, Google Apps, Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
The idea for the Google Community Leaders Program originated in New Orleans in the years after Hurricane Katrina, when the company recognized a significant need for digital literacy among the reemerging local businesses and industries. Since then, the program has expanded to various cities nationwide, including Columbus and Provo, Utah. This year marks Google Community Leader’s first program in Detroit, where it is partnering with Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the University of Michigan, in addition to EMU.
The students involved in the program will offer their extensive search optimization and digital marketing experience to local businesses like the Michigan Nonprofit Association, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, while also participating in professional development workshops. The five students will also each receive a Google mentor to further prepare them to best serve the digital demands of the local business community.