Marketing senior among finalists to challenge Detroit


The city of Detroit is in her blood, and may also soon be her place of leadership.

Marketing senior Amanda Gettgen recently applied to be a fellow for Challenge Detroit.

The one-year program allows individuals to spend a year in Detroit, working one-on-one with a host company and doing service projects for several non-profit organizations. Participants have the opportunity to dive in as leaders and do their part to help revitalize the city.

Courtesy | Amanda Gettgen

Accepted fellows organize and take part month-long challenges. Bicycle tours are one example, which Gettgen said cuts down on automobile traffic and gets more people engaged in the city.

She said art projects also help impact the city positively. The wall shown in Kid Rock’s “Care” music video, located on Park Ave. is one example. It is a brick wall adorned with inspirational words and positive graffiti.

“They have a lot of artwork downtown that’s going up to show off the vibrancy in the city that exists in all of Detroit’s people,” Gettgen said.

Gettgen has made it past the first two phases of the Challenge Detroit’s application process.

For phase one, candidates included a resume and a pitch about why they’re passionate about reviving the city.

Phase 2 involved answering an essay question and creating of a one-minute video that showcased candidates’ passion for Detroit. Gettgen’s campaign is focused on the power community involvement has on the city and how it gives individuals a sense of belonging.

Phase 3 consists of an online community vote through Challenge Detroit’s Facebook page. After voting ends April 13, the top 75 candidates will take a trip to Detroit in early May and interviews with host companies will be conducted.

Gettgen, who was born and raised in Detroit, said the opportunity to be part of the program would provide her with a unique way to give back to the city that gave so much to her.

“All of my fondest memories are from here,” Gettgen said. “I want to make sure people are able to experience the same type of memories growing up — the overall passion that’s just contagious.”

Gettgen credits her desire for leadership to her internship experience with USA Hockey’s National Team Development program as well as her involvement as a Boys and Girls Club volunteer.

She also has an internship this summer with Marketing Associates Inc., which could potentially be a host company she is be paired with if she gets accepted to Challenge Detroit.

“That is another company I’m interested in working for with my community engagement and experiential marketing,” Gettgen said.

Accepted candidates will be interviewed and hand-selected by host companies according to what they’re passionate about. Some of these companies include the Detroit Lions and Quicken Loans.

Go to to vote for Amanda and find out more information about the organization.