For Donquiel Lott, Summer Youth Initiative was the launchpad for a summer job that continued for five years.
“I worked for Flint Community Schools, where I worked as a counselor with summer camp programs at various elementary schools,” says Lott, who graduated from Southwestern Classical Academy.
His experience taught him valuable lessons that he is now able to translate to his current position as an assistant planner for GTB, a marketing and advertising agency in Detroit.
“Working for Flint Community Schools, I learned patience,” says Lott. “With younger children, they are working on a different level than you, so you have to take the time to understand where they are coming from. That’s true for working with people of all ages.”
After graduating from Central Michigan University in 2017, I started an internship with GTB. After my internship, they eventually hired me on full time.
I work on the Drive for your School and Drive for your Community team. It’s a philanthropic program that partners schools and community organizations with Ford dealerships to host a one-day test drive event. In exchange for driving a Ford vehicle, Ford donates $20 toward that cause.
Interviewing for my position with Summer Youth Initiative was my first experience going through the interviewing process. So many of those skills I use today – such as waiting for permission to be seated after shaking an interviewer’s hand, maintaining eye contact or writing my resume – I learned in TeenQuest.
I would like to continue to progress in the advertising industry. Eventually, I would like to open my own ad agency or media company, but I would like to get more experience in my field first.
In addition to my nine-to-five, I am part of the Adcraft Club of Detroit, a group for advertising professionals across Metro Detroit. They hold various professional development and volunteer opportunities. Last year, as part of their young professionals program, I was able to attend trainings at various agencies in the area. I think supplementing my work with professional development and networking will help me attain my goals.
I host a podcast with my best friend and former college roommate called “Thinking 2 Myself.” We explore the questions of the world through the lens of two potentially unstable millennials. (Laughs) We saw a great opportunity with podcasts because they’re relatively unexplored and unregulated. We thought it would be interesting to get into the game and be able to grow as it grows.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.