General Motors and UDM partner to help clean Detroit with the GM Student Corps
This summer, UDM partnered with General Motors and the United Way to make a real difference in Detroit and in the lives of some high school and UDM students. The GM Student Corps program hired 110 Detroit-area high school students as paid summer interns to work with 60 GM retirees and 11 UDM student leaders on improvement projects around the city.
Together they refurbished eight Detroit-area parks, planted 425 trees, shrubs and flowers, laid 392 yards of mulch, applied 223 gallons of paint, disposed of 205 bags and 29 dumpsters of plant overgrowth and refuse, and distributed 30,000 pounds of food via local hunger organizations.
UDM Economics instructor and former GM employee Mike DiGiovanni ’70, ’72 was the program coordinator.
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 recruited the GM retirees.
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Jason Roche directed four additional UDM students in producing a documentary video about it, “Powering a Positive Change.” General Motors donated the cameras necessary to film the events. Watch a clip from the documentary.
At the conclusion of the program, the students, retirees and staff came together on Aug. 15 on the McNichols Campus and spent the day learning about the importance of a college education from University faculty and staff. A closing ceremony occurred in the University's Fountain Lounge to celebrate the students' summer successes.
Joining them at the ceremony were the UDM student leaders, GM retirees, President of GM North America Mark Reuss and President of UDM Antoine M. Garibaldi.