White House Fellows make stop at Foundation during Living City Tour
Recently, The Skillman Foundation had the privilege of hosting a reception for the White House Fellows. The White House Fellows program, developed in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, was created to provide young, talented individuals with the opportunity to view government close-up and allow them a first-hand opportunity to explore career opportunities in service to their country. The program is now one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. As part of the programs “Living City Tour,” the fellows visited Detroit for five days in early November, which included meetings with the police chief, mayor and governor.
Skillman Foundation President & CEO Carol Goss played host to the fellows on the Thursday evening of their visit. The fellows, which include members of the military, academia, government, healthcare and non-profit, sat in round-table format with leaders from the communities that the Foundation serves and works in: Brightmoor, Chadsey/Condon, Cody Rouge, Northend Central, Osborn and Southwest Detroit. Along with the community leaders at each table there were high school students representing the communities. Each table had introductions and then dialogue surrounding educational reform in the city of Detroit. At the end of the dialogue, each table discussed, in open-forum, their views and recommendations in improving education in the city of Detroit.
“It has been a distinct privilege and pleasure having such an esteemed group of young people such as the White House Fellows here at the foundation to share their experiences, but most importantly to hear ours surrounding education and the hope and belief of Detroit’s renaissance,” Goss said.
Several of the White House Fellows commented on the openness and frankness surrounding the dialogue at each and every table.
“We are excited by the conversation here tonight and we will take this information to heart and utilize in our on-going discussions and recommendations for improving cities and education in America,” said Cindy Moelis, director of the fellows.
At the closing of the reception, Goss thanked Skillman Foundation Officer Henry McClendon for orchestrating the event, and the fellows presented Goss with a presidential writing pen, signed by President Barack Obama. Immediately after the reception the White House Fellows boarded their private shuttle bus and headed to Corktown to Slows Bar B Q, a must-visit eatery and an emblem of Detroit’s return to greatness.
-- Lonie Haynes, a native of Atlanta, is a Communications Fellow at the Foundation, and a member of the National Urban Fellow class of 2012.