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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight

MI AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight - May 2020, Darrin Adams - AmeriCorps Urban Safety, AMUS

Darrin Adams passed away on April 2 due to COVID-19. Darrin served two terms with the AmeriCorps Urban Safety (AMUS) Program in 2013-14, after an initial service term with the Vanguard Community Development Corporation. A returning citizen, Darrin made a difference in his community, and in doing so forged a new path forward for himself.

Darrin served as a neighborhood lead in Detroit's Midtown North community. He worked hard to provide residents with Home Safety Assessments and security enhancements such as deadbolt locks, which he installed for them. Darrin was also instrumental in coordinating the planning, preparation, and implementation of boarding up vacant and abandoned homes in Detroit neighborhoods.

This service is done to improve public safety, in particular along pathways walked by students each day to neighborhood schools. Darrin took time to ensure that all efforts to secure these structures were appropriately designed for strength and durability, and that service was carried out in a manner safe for all participants. He also effectively trained other members and neighborhood residents in this activity, from measuring building openings to the use of power saws and drills. Darrin's efforts contributed to the AMUS Program’s success in boarding up more than 200 vacant and open homes during 2013-14.

Darrin leveraged his experience with the AMUS Program to obtain full-time employment with the Wayne State University custodial services. He returned to school, completing his Associate's Degree at Oakland Community College. He was working towards his Bachelor's in Sociology at Wayne State, with plans to continue towards a Master's Degree. Through his participation in the University's academic life, Darrin continued to give back to his community.

One of his teachers, Sarah Swider, remembers, "It was a pleasure to see how his personality added to our classroom. His thirst for knowledge and for sharing was inspiring." Darrin was taking his final two undergraduate classes this semester. The University awarded Darrin a posthumous degree in its virtual commencement ceremony on April 29.

The Michigan Community Service Commission is pleased to recognize Darrin for this month's Alum Spotlight in recognition of his exemplary service. Darrin reflected the AMUS model of community engagement and served as an example to his fellow students.

For more information about the AmeriCorps Urban Safety (AMUS) Program, visit For more information about AmeriCorps, go to

RELATED CONTENT: Read an article published in The Detroit News about Darrin Adams receiving the posthumous degree from WSU.