Since his graduation nearly two years ago, Isaac Gilman ’10 has made Detroit his home. Recently, Gilman discovered the newly launched program Challenge Detroit, which encourages young individuals to “live, work, play, and contribute” in the city by offering 30 one-year, salaried positions at companies throughout Detroit.
In its first year, the program received more than 900 applications, setting it up to be one of the most competitive initiatives in the country. Out of this vast pool of applicants, Gilman stood out as an exceptional member of the community, and was selected as a semi-finalist with only 100 other applicants.
Gilman spent last summer working at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives mentoring children on bicycle maintenance and the importance of riding bikes. “UNI helped me gain valuable knowledge about Detroit which strengthens my desire to work here,” says Gilman in the video “cover letter.” “The increasing bike culture is just one reason I want live – and play – in Detroit.”
The application process was as unique as the program – applicants were asked to create a video “cover letter” and a 500 character pitch explaining why they want to make Detroit their home. Gilman’s video is currently posted on the program’s Facebook page along with his fellow semi-finalists, where users can vote for the clips that they find most inspiring. The votes are then factored – along with reviews from the host companies and the submission itself – into the selection of finalists by a panel of Challenge Detroit judges.
“I hope I can become a true Detroiter,” concludes Gilman. “I want to make Detroit the best city it can possibly be.”
To help Gilman make Detroit a better place to live, work and play, “like” the Challenge Detroit Facebook page and vote for his video. Voting is open from April 7 to April 13. https://www.facebook.com/challengedetroit?v=app_204169126292521&app_data=cid_19867