Detroit Young Professionals Meet Governor Snyder

By Mike Brownfield | March 26, 2013

You can feel the vibe in Midtown, see it in Corktown, hear it at a Tigers game. It's the spirit of reinvention taking hold in the City of Detroit, and it's a magnetic energy that's drawing young people downtown to live, work and play.

Last night at Wayne State University, Governor Rick Snyder met with some of those Detroiters at a town hall hosted by the Detroit Young Professionals, a non-profit organization committed to cultivating creativity, entrepreneurship and a spirit of community in metropolitan Detroit.

Before taking questions, Governor Snyder reflected on his experiences as a young professional and what it meant to be able to make contributions to growing communities throughout his early career.

"I talk to young people, and I say 'You wanna be another yuppie in Chicago, or you wanna make a difference in Detroit? You can go to Chicago and be one of another whole bunch of people,'" Governor Snyder said.

"This is one of those moments you can look back in ten years and say, 'What I did in 2013, 2014, was really meaningful, I was able to help turn around a city -- and not just a city, my home.' That's special."

Young Professionals Speak Out

Following the town hall, a few of the participants in the town hall took a moment to reflect on their view of the City of Detroit and why they've chosen to live and work there.

"I went to school in Chicago and came back for family and a job opportunity," Detroiter Justin Jacobs explained. "I saw that there was an opportunity for myself to step into a niche to provide opportunities for young adults to be socially active."

Jacobs, who now lives in downtown Detroit's central business district, owns and operates "Come Play Detroit," a company that provides recreational sports leagues and social events. He says he appreciates Governor Snyder's interest in reaching out to young professionals in Michigan.

"I love that [Governor Snyder] puts a lot of the focus on the young adults who are engaged in the community and provide us a platform to make a difference," Jacobs said. "It's very rare to have the opportunity to make such an impact in such a major city."

Tierra Filhiol, who works in Detroit and is looking to move to the city, welcomed the chance to meet with Governor Snyder.

"I definitely appreciate the fact that the governor is speaking with us on top of the fact that he gave us a call to action," Filhiol remarked. "He said 'I'll give you the platform, but it's up to you to step up and be loud. I need you to be loud, and louder, and now. So I definitely support everything he is saying.'"