Detroit: Celebrating our 2018-2019 Interns of the Week

William Smith, Quicken Loans IT

Will has consistently demonstrated perseverance, respect, and integrity throughout workshop and at his internship. He is both diligent and compassionate, leading by example and encouraging others to do the right thing. Whether he pursues trade school or college, Will will be an asset to any team or program.

Will’s mentor, Eric, says that Will is a phenomenal young man with limitless potential. He couldn’t have imagined a better intern for this year, and is truly impressed with all Will has accomplished. The entire IT team loves having him at work, not just because of his focus and support, but also because of his good nature and infectious personality. They’ll be sad to see him go, but can’t wait to hear what the future holds for him.

Mark Turner, Bedrock Detroit

Mark Turner comes to work and workshop each day ready to soak up new knowledge and apply it right away. He makes an effort to make every experience he has both positive and meaningful. Mark’s reflective nature has allowed him to get the most out of his internship — Mark takes time to think about which team members he might shadow around the company to learn more and increase his exposure to many different career pathways, and even had the chance to speak on Bedrock’s monthly panel discussion, which focused on generations in the workforce.

Interning at Bedrock has let Mark work under many different mentors and leaders, including Lee Dodds, Director of Engineering at Bedrock Detroit. Throughout the past seven months, which Mark spent interning on the Engineering team prior to joining Bedrock Technology, Lee has taken note of Mark’s professionalism and dedication to learning the trades.

Past mentor Stevan Youngblood, Lead Engineer at Bedrock, tells us that ” Mark is an amazing young man with an incredible work ethic and drive. He constantly displayed a demeanor far beyond his years and this dude is well on his way to accomplishing great things! It was my pleasure to have him as a team member for a couple months! And he is welcome back anytime!”

Zach Mills, Quicken Loans FOCUS

From the start, Zach has been a quiet leader, continually demonstrating diligence, respect, and collaboration. He is a self-motivated scholar who encourages everyone around him to be the best versions of themselves. Whether he pursues his passion in the automotive or business sector — or a career at Quicken — Zach’s positive attitude and hard work will make him successful wherever he goes.

Merle Milton, Visual Communications Specialist at FOCUS and Zach’s mentor, says, “Zach is doing an amazing job fitting in with our team. He comes in and he presents himself as an asset everyday. He is determined to always do something, even if it’s just taking the trash out. We love joking with him and talking about whatever. He really adds to our environment in a really good way. Plus he’s an employee and an even better person.”

Kylie Smith-Sadler, Quicken Loans Client Relations

Kylie Smith-Sadler is ready for what comes next. From day one, Kylie’s passion for entrepreneurship impressed Urban Alliance staff. Before joining UA, she began creating her own line of beauty products right from her mom’s kitchen! Inspired and passionate in every endeavor, Kylie will accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

Kylie’s mentors tell us that “Kylie has truly excelled during this internship, always putting her best foot forward and going the extra mile. Her positive attitude and ability to build relationships are two of her greatest strengths; those traits have made her a well-liked and valuable part of our team. She comes to work every day prepared, and eager to learn. With that mindset, we know Kylie will succeed in whatever she chooses to pursue in the future.”

Anthony Scott, Bedrock Detroit

Anthony has been nothing short of impressive during in his time in Urban Alliance. He has maintained a positive attitude and constantly challenges himself to step outside of his comfort zone. He is one of UA’s most genuine, kind, and inquisitive students. He always demonstrates a strong work ethic both at his internship and during workshop.

Anthony’s mentors have shared that Anthony always has a smile on his face when walking around the office and brightens the day of so many employees — even UA staff have noticed this when encountering Anthony around the office! He has taken initiative and has shown a willingness to learn something new every day. Currently, Anthony plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in engineering after graduating high school.

Dalante Rhoden, Bank of America

Dalante Rhoden is an exemplary Urban Alliance intern. Since he joined the program, he has remained engaged and inquisitive every step of the way.

His character and growth this year is best described by his mentor, Reginald Hinton, Sr., Financial Center Manager at Bank of America, who tells us: “From the very beginning, Dalante was very inquisitive and had a thirst for knowledge… Dalante identified his areas of opportunity and worked diligently to close his gaps in an effort to thrive in the workplace. I have witnessed [him] evolve into a very confident and valuable member of my team. Dalante has an impeccable work ethic and is very dependable. He received high praise from Bank of America’s Division Executive, Will Smayda, during a recent visit. Will was very impressed by Dalante’s ability to engage with clients and his knowledge of self-service options to make the financial lives of our clients easier … He has also improved and takes pride in his personal appearance…Dalante is the best dressed person in the building! He takes tremendous pride in his appearance by now, wearing suits and ties. Dalante is a fan favorite of all of the Financial Center’s clients for delivering a ‘World Class’ client experience. [He] has shared with me that would like to seek full time employment with Bank of America and I am elated to offer my support and endorsement. The sky is the limit for Dalante! I expect him to be very successful in whatever he chooses to do with his life. I am honored and humbled by the notion that I have played a small part in his development.”

Shawntae Thompson, Quicken Loans Client Relations

Truly, Shawntae has been excelling every single day with her timeliness and adherence to deadlines, hilarious and kind personality, and true drive for success. Shawntae never fails to make people smile and bring her best to work and workshop day in and day out.

In the classroom, Shawntae can be found either making funny faces when she thinks no one is looking, or working diligently to capture as much information from the lesson as possible. At work, according to mentor Veronica Williams, “Shawntae has really started to flourish during her time interning with Quicken Loans Concierge. She has made huge efforts to step outside of her comfort zone to provide engaging interactions with guests, team members, and candidates who visit the Welcome Desk. When meeting for professional development sessions, Shawntae makes sure that she is prepared and participates in the discussion. Being a student first and an intern is no easy task, and Shawntae balances it well. We’re excited to see how Shawntae will continue to grow in her internship and beyond!”

Dante Simpson, Bedrock Detroit

Dante Simpson is an exemplary Urban Alliance intern. Mature, poised, and committed to getting the job done right every time, Dante makes UA staff and his mentors proud every step of the way!

From showing up on time and eager to learn each day to creating relationships within the Small Building Portfolio team, Dante executes on the skills and knowledge he’s gained through UA’s pre-work and his previous internship at Bedrock through a Family of Companies internship program. Dante holds an HVAC certification from Randolph Career and Technical Center and hopes to secure a full-time job at Bedrock after graduation or, alternatively, pursue a degree in business. If given the opportunity, Dante would be beyond excited to engage with future interns placed at Bedrock as a mentor and friend.

Current mentor Casey Tyson, Lead Engineer on the Small Building Portfolio team, says that “[Dante] is currently working on filter changing throughout the small building portfolio. He has also been involved in troubleshooting mechanical issues, completing work orders, and performing building walks. […] Anytime Dante was involved in troubleshooting a mechanical issue, he asked a lot of great questions and showed a genuine interest in the field.”

James Evans, Bedrock Detroit

James Evans is one of the most dedicated, hardworking, and sincere interns UA staff has had the pleasure to know. His genuine and kind spirit allows him to create strong, meaningful relationships not only at work, but also in the classroom.

James is a second-time intern at Bedrock Detroit, having interned there last summer through a Family of Companies internship program. At Bedrock, James has integrated previous work experience and lessons learned with the skills and knowledge he gained through UA to show his mentors and program staff just how dedicated he is to continuous improvement. James even finds the time to provide insight and support to his peers, demonstrating strong leadership skills that will serve him well in the future.

James’ high level of maturity and understanding of others has stood out during workshop discussions and has translated well to his performance at work. At last week’s mentor roundtable, all of James’ past mentors at Bedrock raved about their experience working with him — from the growth they’ve seen since last year to his caring and can-do attitude, it’s clear that James never fails to impress.

Marlon Johnson, JOURNi

Marlon Johnson sets himself apart in the classroom and at work through his incredibly positive attitude and wise approach to professional development. Since he joined Urban Alliance, UA program staff has noted how thoughtful and reflective Marlon is during workshop, eagerly engaging with the material and quickly relating it back to his internship.

Most recently, Marlon went above and beyond in preparing for JOURNi’s February Youth Technology Exploration Event, which was focused on Black History Month. This monthly event, which was held in Marlon’s own neighborhood, allows youth ages seven to 17 to stop by and learn about new technology. On the day of the event, Marlon prepared every single one of the 30 computers, then worked with the youth groups to help them answer questions about leadership. Mentor Richard Grundy tells us “Marlon was absolutely awesome on this day (he is every day) and truly worked to empower his own community.”

Diamond Mills, Rock Connections

Diamond Mills is one of the most incredibly committed, consistent, and mature interns in Urban Alliance. Currently interning with Rock Connections, Diamond comes in each day with a smile on her face, ready to tackle whatever task is sent her way. Her strong work ethic and positive personality have led her to shine both in the classroom and at work as she proves that she is dedicated to surpassing expectations in every aspect.

Next year, Diamond plans to attend a Michigan college to pursue a degree in mathematics or nursing because of her passion and drive to help others. Diamond has already been awarded several scholarships to cover the cost of her education.

Asia Ellis, Quicken Loans IT

Asia Ellis is a bright, young intern for which the future holds no ceiling. Asia joined Urban Alliance as a student excelling in academics and pursuing her post-high school dream of becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist. When asked why she would like to pursue this career, Asia explained to UA staff that she aspires to empower and educate women through medicine.

Asia is supported by two wonderful mentors, Zach Vickers and AJ Ureel of Quicken Loans IT, who tell us that Asia perpared a presentation for the Enterprise Project Management team on leadership styles and worked diligently and proactively, developing a strong project timeline with key milestones in order to meet her deadline.

As they reflected on Asia’s progress and commitment to her internship, AJ and Zach said that “Asia has demonstrated an ALL-IN mindset toward her internship! More and more we have seen Asia gaining the inches and skills needed to be successful as a project management intern, a college student and beyond.”

Destini Mills, Quicken Loans FOCUS

Destini Mills is a communicative, outgoing, and an independent intern. She has displayed an increasingly positive attitude since starting at FOCUS, demonstrating that she’s committed to continuous improvement.

Destini prides herself on not only being involved at her internship, but also on staying engaged at school as she participates in many extracurriculars from art to athletics, and even other professional development opportunities! Destini has also distinguished herself as an amazing artist in the classroom and recently completed multiple drawings and doodles that have been selected for display in Quicken Loans’ buildings downtown.

Jabare Stinson, Bedrock Detroit

Jabare Stinson puts his best foot forward with Urban Alliance every single day. Program staff have taken note of Jabare’s kind, reflective spirit and motivation to “work smarter, not harder.” Even more importantly, Jabare brings his learning moments back to the classroom to share with his peers every step of the way.

Jabare sets himself apart in the UA classroom and at work. Bedrock mentors have specifically requested to work with Jabare because of his stellar performance. Most recently, Jabare completed a project involving replacing drywall in the locker rooms and has been quick to pick up several other similar projects. Mike Brown, Field Services Engineer Team Leader at Bedrock, tells us that Jabare “is willing to take on assignments grown men shy away from.”

Jhamir Price, Quicken Loans Community Fund

Jhamir consistently pushes himself and his peers to excel in the classroom and at their work sites. He professionally engages with community leaders and actively supports his colleagues to ensure positive results. His mentor Lauren Wright said: “Jhamir has already been an incredible addition to our team; he is eager to learn, willing to share his perspective, and has a passion for giving back. He constantly thinks of how he can help and engage others. Our team is confident Jhamir will be a valuable asset to the Quicken Loans Community Fund over the next year and we are excited to see his growth.”

Kenya Dean, Quicken Loans Client Relations

Kenya is a superstar! Urban Alliance staff has taken note of the incredible effort Kenya has made to continuously improve. From perfecting her attendance at school to increasing her communication to build strong and effective habits, Kenya has impressed us beyond measure. We can’t wait to see what Kenya accomplishes in the months ahead. “Pamela [Kenya’s mentor] and I agree that Kenya is hard working and dedicated. She is willing to step outside of her comfort zone and push herself to improve. Even when she was absent for a few days [she jumped right back into] the swing of things.” – Yvonne Yarbrough, Quicken Loans Client Relations

Deshawn Durr, Bank of America

Deshawn has been putting his best foot forward since day one. From his willingness to work with and build friendships with others around him, to his near-perfect attendance and punctuality, we’ve been proud to watch him learn and grow over the past few months. Deshawn was the first of six interns at Bank of America in Detroit to complete his training series and experience being out “on the floor” interacting with clients and educating them about mobile banking capabilities. “[I have been] very impressed with Deshawn from day one. He is quick to pick up new processes and is always helping his fellow interns. His future is bright and I see no ceiling on what his future has in store for him.” – Gregory Horvath, Bank of America

Michael Howard, Rock Connections

Michael has been an absolute pleasure to work with this year. From his genuine care for others around him to his passionate drive for success, Michael has continued to impress as a committed, mature, and prepared intern. Before the holiday break, Michael was presented with an award from the A-Team at Rock Connections for generating the highest success rate with call transfers among the entire cohort of nine Urban Alliance-Rock Connections interns. We’re so proud of Michael for striving for success and continuing to motivate those around him.

Damia Lewis, Quicken Loans Government Relations

Damia sets herself apart from the crowd day in and day out through her high level of maturity, kindness, and professionalism. Damia is currently working on developing lesson plans for the Urban Alliance classroom related to proper workplace etiquette while also working with her team on vetting sponsorship opportunities for Quicken Loans. “It has been an absolute joy to work with Damia! She has a high level of awareness, is always engaged, goal oriented and completes every task with minimal supervision. Damia has been a great addition to the Government Affairs team and we all enjoy having her.” – Jason Headen, Quicken Loans Government Relations.


Dana Henson, Quicken Loans Client Relations

Since day one, Dana has been a leader in the classroom. She is constantly going above and beyond, providing her peers with guidance and a helping hand. “Dana always comes in with a smile on her face and ready for whatever is going on that day. She has been awesome assisting our guests at our Welcome Desks and asks great questions when shadowing other areas of the business… She’s always willing and ready to learn, and is very self-aware when it comes to her strengths and her opportunities for growth. This is an awesome skill to have!” – Pamela McGinnis, Quicken Loans Client Relations


Shanyra Jones, Quicken Loans FOCUS

When an intern unexpectedly had to leave the program just before starting his internship, Shanyra immediately stepped in to take her spot in the Urban Alliance program. Within just a few weeks, Shanyra made arrangements to adjust her class schedule accordingly, signed up to go through an expedited pre-employment training, and got herself up to speed in no time at all! The Urban Alliance Program team has been in awe of Shanyra’s positive attitude and willingness to jump right in from the start. As her first week draws to a close, we’re proud to say she has presented herself as an exemplary intern.


Tacara Berry, Rock Connections

Tacara has stood out in class since day one, blowing us away with her high level of maturity, consistent positive attitude, and incredible focus. “One of our first days on the phones, Tacara had a very tough call — one that even some of my veteran team members wouldn’t have been able to handle. Tacara did her best, got through it and was ready to move on and keep plugging away right after. It showed tremendous maturity and character. We are very lucky to have Tacara with us, and I can tell she has a very bright future ahead [of her].” – Rachel Terryah, Rock Connections