News Release

GM and UDM Partner to Help Clean Detroit with the GM Student Corps

This summer, 110 Detroit-area high school students worked as paid summer interns for the brand-new GM Student Corps, a program developed by General Motors with the support of University of Detroit Mercy and the United Way. Their experience combined service, education and mentoring in our city in a whole new way.

View media coverage from the program ...

On Thursday, August 15, the students came together as a full group on the McNichols Campus of UDM and learned about the importance of a college education from University faculty and staff from all curriculums. There was a closing ceremony in the University's Fountain Lounge at 2:30 p.m. to celebrate the student's summer successes.

Group of GM Student Corps students

Joining them were the 12 UDM student leaders, 60 GM retirees, President of GM North America, Mark Reuss and President of UDM, Antoine Garibaldi.

The UDM student leaders were selected based upon their GPA, academics and attendance, said Economics professor and former GM employee Mike DiGiovanni, who is coordinating the project with GM. While many of the students were from the College of Liberal Arts & Education, other schools are represented and are interested in service-based careers.

Schools that participated in the GM Student Corps were: Central Collegiate Academy, Detroit Public Schools Cody Campus, East Detroit High School, Hamtramck High School, Harper Woods High School, Henry Ford High School, Madison High School, Melvindale High School, Detroit Public Schools Osborn Campus, River Rouge High School and Van Dyke Lincoln High School.

Projects included cleanups at local parks, maintaining a community garden, setting up a food bank, etc. "All of the interns in the program need to have the passion to grow as an individual and a love to do something for others," said DiGiovanni, who is also leading 60 GM retirees who are assisting in the program.

A unique aspect of the GM Student Corps is that it united people from a range of age groups and walks of life to work toward a common goal – improving local neighborhoods – while helping students develop career skills.

The UDM students met regularly with the high school students for life skills sessions following a curriculum developed by Junior Achievement.

Four additional UDM students interned in this program under the guidance of Communications Studies professor Jason Roche, who documented the progress of the program throughout the course of the summer. General Motors donated the cameras necessary to film the events.

Media coverage of the program

Aug. 16, 2013
GM Student Corps Inspire Communities and Themselves
Paddock Talk

August 16, 2013
Exec: GM plans to grow Detroit internship program, could expand to Flint

"UDM President Antoine M. Garibaldi encouraged he students in attendance to take what they've learned this summer and share it with their families, friends and high school peers. It's just been a life changing experience for all of us, he said during a speech Thursday. ³The program has brought together people of all ages, backgrounds, walks of life, ethnicities working side-by-side."

Group of GM Student Corps students

August 15, 2013
GM student interns help clean up Detroit
Detroit Free Press

Aug. 15, 2013
GM, University of Detroit Mercy celebrate conclusion of student internship program

Aug. 15, 2013
GM student interns, volunteers transform Detroit park
The Detroit News

May 21, 2013
GM hires 110 student interns to help clean up Detroit
Detroit Free Press

May 20, 2013
GM Teams Students And Retirees To Rebuild Communities
CBS Detroit 62

May 20, 2013
GM giving paid internships to 110 HS students


May 20, 2013
Taking It To The Streets – GM Introduces Student Corps

The Wall Street Journal

WJR audio feature (MP3 file)

Release date: May 24, 2013

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