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June 20, 2014

SVSU student Amanda Gettgen chosen from 850 for Challenge Detroit project

The Clinton Township native will move to Detroit in September

Amanda Gettgen was one of 33 students chosen for an initiative aimed at improving Detroit.Saginaw Valley State University senior Amanda Gettgen, a Clinton Township native, was chosen as one of 33 people charged with helping re-energize metro Detroit’s creative and professional core.

Gettgen, a marketing major, was selected as a Challenge Detroit Fellow. The initiative — now in its third year — tasks participants with living in Detroit for one year while helping to attract and retain a creative and professional class in the city.

The initiative funds her downtown Detroit stay, which begins in September.

“I’ve lived the whole suburban Detroit life,” said Gettgen, whose hometown of Clinton Township is about 20 miles north of downtown. “I really want to fully immerse myself in Detroit. I want to be right where everything is happening.”

Gettgen, who expects to graduate from SVSU in August, was selected from 850 who applied for Challenge Detroit. Each person submitted an application video earlier this year, and since then, 40,000 votes were cast online to narrow that pool of candidates down to 33.

The initiative pairs each participant with a sponsoring organization. Gettgen will work with Detroit-based Marketing Associates, a community-engaged marketing firm. She will spend her Mondays through Thursdays collaborating with the company’s creative, project management and event management departments.

On Fridays, she will work with Challenge Detroit’s other 32 participants on yet-to-be determined projects.

“I, too, want to be part of the revitalization movement that shows my fellow Detroiters, city boosters and the world that Detroit can’t be beat,” Gettgen says in her 90-second Challenge Detroit application video.

“As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, I will seize the opportunity to encourage the spirit of Detroit and unlock new opportunities for change through increasing community engagement, empowering Detroiters and promoting positive perceptions of the city.”

Viewers can watch Gettgen’s online video here: