Designation D e tr@it
Live, Work, Play, Give
Innovative thinkers to be challenged by unique Detroit initiative.
Marielle Temkin 1_1N Intern
n Aug. 20, Challenge Detroit
is bringing 30 innovative,
passionate leaders to the city
to live, work and complete
team challenges for a year. While most
of the participants come from Michi-
gan, there are also those who hail from
states such as Colorado, Virginia and
Massachusetts — just to name a few. It
is a testament to the appeal of Chal-
lenge Detroit that the program gar-
nered interest from people nationwide
— and Detroit will benefit from their
Those involved will work four days a
week at a company based in the great-
er Detroit area, and on Fridays, the 30
participants will take part in team chal-
lenges designed to better the city. The
challenges will focus on 10 areas in
Detroit that the community both needs
and wants to improve — such as food
access and a more positive image in
the news. Because the applicants come
from a wide range of professional and
academic backgrounds, there will be a
variety of ideas thrown around in the
Challenge Detroit is an initiative of
the Collaborative Group, headed by
Deirdre Greene, executive director. "We
felt a need in the community to attract
and retain top talent for the city's re-
vitalization efforts," Greene said. "The
people who will be a part of this initia-
tive are entrepreneurial and innovative,
and we believe they have what it takes
to be the next generation of leaders in
Detroit. They have the spirit this city
Some of the participants of the Chal-
lenge are Jewish, the A spoke to five
of them, and they are each looking
forward to bringing their respective
perspectives to the table.
Darin Gross, 21, of Farmington Hills,
In May, 66 of the program's finalists toured Detroit during the final part of the selection process.
holds a degree in
finance from Michigan
State University and
likes to focus on the
entrepreneurial side of
Detroit caught my
eye," he said, "because
I wanted to do some-
minded and gain more
experience in that
"It's also a collective thing and much
different than what most people are
doing after college.
"I feel really excited to be a part
of this, and I really want to do this
and work through the community in
Detroit. I'm ready to bring it all to the
table and create unique solutions for
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Detroit from everyone's perspectives,"
He will work with MarketPlace
Homes, a Beverly Hills company that
rents its clients homes.
When Gross moves Downtown in
August, he will live with friends Jared
Berman, 22, and Zachary Berlin, 22,
both of whom are participating in Chal-
It was through Gross that Berman
first heard of the program. "Darin for-
warded me an email he got about it,"
Berman said, "and it seemed like such
an incredible opportunity."
The yearlong program gives each
participant $500 a month toward rent.
"The support they're giving us with
the rent stipend and also the support
of being in a community of people in
the same boat — it's reassuring that
we don't just have to
jump right out by our-
selves after college.
It's a chance to get my
feet wet, in a sense,"
Berman, who gradu-
ated from MSU with
a degree in finance
with a specialization in
will be working with
Mango Languages, a language-learning
service. "It seems like it'll be a great
fit because I can use my international
focus because the company works with
countries around the world," he said.
"I can't wait to be immersed in the
Downtown culture and be in the heart
Live, Work, Play, Give on page 33
August 16 0 2012