Dearborn residents selected for urban revitalization program

Two Dearborn residents were selected as two of 30 people to participate in Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization program focused on attracting and retaining talent in Detroit in an effort to spur revitalization.

Ryan Dillon and Devon O’Reilly were chosen from hundreds of applicants to collaborate with individuals from across the country and live, work, play, give and lead in Detroit.

Challenge Detroit is a one-year fellowship program that provides the opportunity for tomorrow’s leaders to work at top regional companies, while spending one day a week collaborating with area nonprofits to address regional challenges and opportunities, including multi-modal transportation, homelessness and community development.

During their year with Challenge Detroit, they will work with partnering host companies, PwC and Detroit Regional Chamber.

“Challenge Detroit started out as a social experiment,” said Deirdre Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. “We wanted to see if we could get people to stay in and come to Detroit, involve them in work at great companies, engage them through the cultural offerings the city has to offer and provide them the opportunity to give back.

“Overwhelmingly, they have stayed, and as the city turns a corner, Challenge Detroit fellows have been integrally connected and are leading the charge for the future of Detroit.”

Dillon and O’Reilly demonstrated interest in the region and applied for Challenge Detroit because they saw the opportunity to bring their intellectual capital and talent to make a positive impact on the region.

“The heritage of the city and its role in my life make me excited to live in Detroit, and its current revitalization excites me about being able to witness both what comes next for the city and the role that I will play in it,” Dillon said.

“Being born in Detroit and raised in the area gave me a natural passion to grow with the city and experience the current renaissance taking place first hand,” O’Reilly said.

During their year in Detroit, participants will share their stories through regular blogging, video logging and social media updates.

For more information and to learn about the fellows, go to