Detroit Today

Detroit's Next Leaders: What Kind of Detroit Do Young People Envision?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan

Host Bankole Thompson explores the future of leadership in Detroit. What kind of Detroit do young people envision and want, and what strides are being taken to make the “future Detroit” a reality?

Guests include Former student of the Focus:Hope Information Technologies Center Program David Throop, Branding and Marketing Entrepreneur Royda Urey, Founder of Summer in the City Ben Falik and Youth Activist Collin Foster Mayes.

“You can get a copy of how to write a resume, but how do you go into an interview and say the right things?,” says Urey of her feelings about landing a job as a young person –an experience that can be nerve-racking but common among teens and young adults. Urey now owns her own business, Valiant Public Relations & Events.

Mays, a self-described millennial, says his generation has a lot to prove, but can achieve great things. “Find what you’re passionate about and what you love doing, and go for it,” he urges to his peers. “My generation --we are really trying to prove ourselves and trying to prove to people that we really are somebody,” says Mays.

As far as the job market in southeast Michigan, Urey says renewed interest in Detroit is a good thing. “You see this mass influx of people coming in, and it’s great,” she says. However, networks and mentorships from older Detroiters are an important part of the “leadership puzzle” in the region.

Involvement in the political process is also an empowering force for young people. Our guests explain that watching older, politically active Detroiters taking a stand and making their voices heard, shows young people that there is power in proactive citizenry.