How did you get where are you are today? Why did you decide to come back to Detroit?
“I really did enjoy my DukeEngage experience last summer. It allowed me to see what was happening on the ground in Detroit. Now, I am working with high school students on a tangible project where I can see the results and impact, which has been a gift.”
Did you work with kids before or is this your first time?
“No, this is my first time so I am learning a lot about the education space in Detroit”
Do you think you were drawn back more to the city, TechTown as an organization, or a little bit of both?
“A little bit of both. A question I had was did I enjoy Detroit because of the DukeEngage crew in Detroit last year? We got close, and I really liked everybody. Was it that? Or was it that I really liked the city and enjoyed working at TechTown? I realize it was probably both, and this summer confirms that because I am still having fun in the city.”
What is a hurdle that you have overcome?
“It was difficult to understand the problem with this project. There are a lot of elements. How do you get a high school entrepreneurship class to work? Initially, we thought we had to get some type of state approval, but with some research we realized there was nothing we needed to do with that. The hurdle now is that things are constantly changing as new information comes in, especially as I do research. So that is something that I am overcoming still.”
How would you describe social entrepreneurship?
“Social entrepreneurship is really a combination of social innovation and social enterprise. Social innovation is a type of thinking. It is thinking about how you can improve some type of issue that is happening in the space around you, maybe a local community. Maybe you see a lot of poverty or some type of health-related issue, and then you find an innovative solution to it. For example, what if we tackled poverty with art? Something like that would be an innovative solution, but then how can you make a business out of that? That leads us into the realm of social enterprise. How do you start a business revolving around a socially innovative idea? Social entrepreneurship is really the intersection of the two in many ways because on one side you have the business building, the partnerships, the funding, and the organizational structure, but the other part is also about if you can be innovative. Can you really find the space where your idea is really going to work?”
Do you think you will come back to the city after you graduate?
“Yeah. A lot of my interests are coming back to the city in many ways. For example, I am interested in tech and computer science related fields. Microsoft and possibly Amazon coming to the city definitely opens up viable career options. Also, the location is great because the cost of living is not very high and there are a lot of great, hard-working people. I would love to come back. Also, if I look into management consulting or strategy consulting there are a lot of firms here working to support Detroit businesses. If I ended up there I would love to do pro bono work for some of the social organizations that are in Detroit. I am definitely considering coming back. Detroit is probably one of my top cities.”