Giving Compass’ Take:
• The “Thirty Under 30” program selects 30 young adults to participate in a year-long volunteer opportunity to use their skills to help communities cope with pressing issues.
• Is this an appropriate length of time for this program? Can such a short-term effort produce long-term results?
• Learn about the long-term dynamics of affordable housing.
Ford’s “Thirty Under 30,” is a year-long philanthropic leadership program started by Executive Chairman Bill Ford (great-grandson of Henry) in 2016 which received more than 300 applications this year. Among the applicants was Christiana Lumaj, a member of the Communications team, who was inspired by the work that the 2017 fellows, including engineer Nihala Thanikkal, did through the program.
Once admitted to the competitive program, Lumaj and 29 peers from departments across the company were introduced to the concept of “design thinking” by the Henry Ford Learning Institute. The problem-solving approach encourages creativity, collaboration, and empathy. “One huge thing that we talk about constantly is how many times you see homeless people on the street and pass by them,” she says. “Treating them with dignity can do wonders.”
Lumaj and her peers are working with six nonprofits that provide shelter and affordable housing to local residents in both Detroit and Canada. Her team was assigned to Cass Community Social Services in Detroit, which has overseen a successful Tiny Homes project along the Cass Corridor. The project, still in progress, involves building 25 homes on individual lots that house low-income tenants. After seven years, tenants are given the opportunity to buy their property. It is just one of many ways that the nonprofit helps those in need find housing, food, healthcare and jobs.
Read the full article about Thirty Under 30 at TIME Magazine.
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