This summer has been anything but ordinary for Summer Youth Internship Program (SYIP) student Ridgeley Hudson. It’s been more like a whirlwind. 

Ridgeley graduated from King High School in Detroit in June and plans to attend Michigan State University in the fall. But his persistence in pursuing his dreams has been making news here at home, and around the world. 

“I received offers for academic scholarships from 46 different colleges and universities around the country, including Wayne State, Morehouse College, Ohio State and others,” said Ridgeley. This impressive list of awards totaled more than $2 million and were the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.  

The different offers gave him a lot to consider, but he’s sticking closer to home with a full ride at Michigan State. “I chose MSU because in the social justice movement that is going on currently, as an African-American male from an urban city, I thought it would be important to go to a school that, in general, is home to a different community. Also, MSU has a well-known education program.”

Ridgeley plans on studying secondary education in the fall. 

His high school counselors and principal offered guidance and support along the way, which was especially critical as Ridgeley lost both of his parents by the time he was 14. 

The news of Ridgeley’s far-reaching, multi-million dollar scholarship offerings caught the attention of Detroit’s Local 4, then BET and different media outlets around the world that have picked up his inspirational story. 

Cynthia Hecht, senior communications strategist, mentored Ridgeley over the summer. “I feel so lucky and grateful for the opportunity to serve as Ridgeley’s mentor,” she says. “Early on, Ridgeley claimed not to know the role corporate communications plays in a company. I had fun telling him he was already doing the job by serving as media spokesman for his school and being interviewed on TV for his tremendous college admittance record. He’s a natural communicator!” 

DTE team members who’ve had the opportunity to work with Ridgeley will all tell you our team has been lucky to have him as an intern this summer. In his time with Corporate Communications, he’s been working on a variety of communications throughout the enterprise– with a lot of time spent learning about our company in between. 

DTE has created a wonderful workspace this summer,” he says. “Although it is virtual, the support is definitely there and the love is felt.” 

Ridgeley is part of a large summer student program working entirely virtual this summer. “I love the Summer Youth Internship Program and how it is smoothly run, especially during the pandemic. Despite COVID-19 and how it has impacted the workplace, DTE and its leaders of this internship program work collectively and tirelessly to create a welcoming space, virtually. Their patience, kindness and willingness to pull things together made this transition to virtual easy and worth it!” 

Like many other interns who graduated from high school recently, Ridgeley’s transition from internship to college will happen in mid-August. He has some advice for anyone trying to reach their goals. “My advice would be to trust God and aim high. The notable motivator once said it is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit. Many say the sky is the limit, but I say you are your only limit. No mountain is unreachable and ngoal is unattainable. Anything is possible.”