DETROIT – When high school students Sadeeque Mohamed and Tiera Wade joined the inaugural GM Student Corps in 2013 as paid interns, they never expected to return to GM and their alma maters to mentor the 2016 Student Corps members.
Wade, a Wayne State University student who graduated from River Rouge High School, credits the program for her decision to enter social work and launch a non-profit organization. Mohamed, a computer science major at University of Michigan Ann Arbor, is a Hamtramck High School graduate.
"Student Corps is a life-changing experience, which is why I joined again this year as a college intern," Mohamed said. "I wanted to give back to Hamtramck and the program, which helped me immensely. I also wanted to help mentor high school students from my community and provide students with guidance and support."
As a high schooler with an entrepreneurial spirit, Mohamed opened his own computer and phone repair company with the money he earned during his GM Student Corps internship.
"Student Corps was not a typical internship or job. It was truly a leadership factory," said Mohamed. "It taught me to be a business-minded person. I was earning good money that helped me and my family, and was able to successfully manage my business until I started my freshman year of college."
Since 2013, more than 500 high school students have earned a paycheck while learning real-world work skills and giving back to their communities via the GM Student Corps. This year's Student Corps includes 129 students from 13 high schools in metro Detroit, Flint and Pontiac.
The program pairs teams of 10 high school interns with retired GM executives and college interns to plan and complete community service projects, primarily at neighborhood schools and parks.
This summer 60 GM retirees and 13 college interns are working with students to develop teamwork, leadership skills and a community service mindset. The teams work as small start-ups and manage all aspects of their restoration, repair and clean-up projects, from budgeting, planning and problem solving to execution.
Students also attend a financial planning seminar and engage in life skills sessions on topics such as decision making, relationship building and resume writing. They tour GM facilities and the University of Detroit Mercy for exposure to career and educational opportunities.
Participating high schools select students based on their leadership potential, dedication, determination and academics. The college interns come from University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor, and Wayne State University.
"Each summer, the students perform important and valuable work at schools and parks in their communities, but just as important are the lasting relationships between our retirees and students," said Heidi Magyar, director of GM Community Outreach and Student Corps. "We're thrilled to have Sadeeque and Tiera return to the program this summer to mentor our Student Corps members."
The program runs through mid-August and concludes with a formal presentation to program champion Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM Global Product Development, and his leadership team.
The 2016 GM Student Corps schools are Central Collegiate Academy, Detroit Public Schools Cody Campus, East Detroit High School, Flint Southwestern Academy, Hamtramck High School, Harper Woods High School, Henry Ford High School, Madison High School, Melvindale High School, Detroit Public Schools Osborn Campus, Pontiac High School, River Rouge High School and Van Dyke Lincoln High School.
Last summer, the GM Student Corps renovated 11 schools and eight parks, spreading nearly 1,000 yards of mulch, applying 246 gallons of paint, planting 700 flowers and trees, and laying 46 yards of stone.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.