(Michigan Community Service Coalition, July 13, 2017)
Rochester Hills and Southfield, MI – Among the 49 winners of 2017 Governor’s Service Awards were six people or groups from Oakland County, including the three members of Team GM: Dawin Wright of Rochester Hills, Marilyn Gripper of Southfield and Tom Parkhill of Rochester Hills.
The winners are individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that were selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy. “These individuals and organizations are role models for other people to follow. The impact they have on other people’s lives is incredible,” Snyder said. “They show us how to overcome obstacles and do good things for other people. They demonstrate tremendous spirit and we are thrilled to recognize them.”
The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission on Monday, Aug. 21, at the Detroit Opera House. The event will also commemorate the Michigan Community Service Commission’s 25th anniversary.
Mentor of the Year – Dawin Wright, Marilyn Gripper, and Tom Parkhill
Dawin Wright, Marilyn Gripper, and Tom Parkhill mentor with TeamGM Cares as part of the GM Student Corps. They select Detroit student interns for the summer and task them with creating, planning, and executing their own community service projects in their neighborhoods, under their supervision.
The team put the students through intense life skills sessions to equip them with problem solving abilities to navigate through high school and beyond.
Many students in the neighborhood lack resources and face several serious challenges. Since 2013, the trio has worked with 40 Frank Cody High School students, helping them form clearly defined goals, increasing their personal and professional skill set and giving them a greater exposure to the opportunities beyond what they see every day in Detroit.
Every student who has gone through the GM Student Corps program with Team Cody has gone on to graduate from high school. Said one mentee, “My greatest achievement so far in my life would be graduating high school and attending a four year university. Honestly, where I’m from it isn’t very common to actually go away to college and try to make something of yourself. Most people wouldn’t think graduating high school is a huge accomplishment but in my eyes it is and it’s just a starter kit to chase after my dreams. I feel like if I graduated once I can do it again. There’s nothing too big that I can’t conquer.”