DTE’s offices are buzzing with youthful energy lately due to our Summer Student Programs. Our company employs 1,500 students every year: 850 directly at various company locations and 650 at community organizations and non-profits funded through the DTE Foundation. These positions provide young people with meaningful work experience, and their work also helps our company and our communities. 
 
Addison Mauck, event coordinator in Public Affairs, spent the summer of 2016 engaging the community on the (then) upcoming M-1 Rail, or Qline. She worked through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), a program designed to employ youth throughout Detroit. Mauck grew up in Detroit and attended Loyola University in Chicago. During her summers home, she became more involved with the city through GDYT.
 
“As a Community Engagement Intern, I traveled to different events in the city to talk to residents about the M-1 Rail,” she says. “I’d set up booths at events and go to neighborhood meetings to answer questions about the new rail.”
 
Last September, Mauck started working with the DTE Energy Foundation through Challenge Detroit, a leadership program for young adults in the city. Both Challenge Detroit and the Foundation align with Mauck’s passion to give back to the city where she was born and raised. 
 
“I knew I liked programs that value people in Detroit, improving Detroit, and this position was the perfect segue into that.”
 
With the Foundation, she supports non-profits hosting events with DTE and large Foundation events like the Cherry Festival. She even helped earlier this year with an event close to her heart: a press conference at DTE Headquarters kicking off the 5th year of GDYT.
 
Through GDYT, she found mentors and gained leadership skills. Employers trusted her with big projects, which built confidence, and assured her that she can lead in the future.
 
But it’s not just about what GDYT can do for the youth involved; the benefits cast a wide net.
 
“For companies, GDYT is an important program because you have two voices you might not always have: the voice of someone in the community where you’re serving and impacting and the voice of a young person,” says Mauck. “Youth perspectives are so important when engaging the community.”
 
Mauck says that the program is important for Detroit because it shows youth that the city wants you here and wants you to contribute and you, in turn, can be an advocate for the city. 
 
“GDYT helped me see that there was work to be done in the city after I graduated and that there was a place for me to be involved in projects that could improve the city.”
 
DTE partners with GDYT to provide valuable work experience to over 400 Detroit youth every year with other organizations. Students also receive training in leadership skills, resumes, financial literacy and public speaking. 
 
Hear more about Addison’s experience with GDYT in the clip below.