(WXYZ) - Congratulations to Rachel Dery! The 2012 graduate of Ferndale High School wrote the winning essay in this year's Brightest and Best Scholarship contest from WXYZ Channel 7 and Gardner-White Furniture.
All of the students honored this year as WXYZ's Brightest & Best were invited to submit a 500-word essay on “How to move Michigan forward by keeping our young graduates working and living in our state."
Dery was presented Friday with the $5,000 scholarship to be used as she heads off to college.
More than fifty of this year's honorees submitted scholarship essays. You can read all of the Brightest and Best essays here.
READ RACHEL DERY'S WINNING ESSAY BELOW:
The key to keeping young graduates in Michigan is giving them the opportunities they need to advance themselves in their careers. College students are always looking for internships. Instead of letting students search aimlessly, Michigan must be proactive and bring the internships to the students. Michigan has the resources; it simply needs to use them.
Internships are vital to giving college students valuable experience and making them more employable after college. Internships are also beneficial to the company because it gives them young professionals who are likely driven and motivated at a lower pay than their regular employees.
Above all, young Michigan professionals would be motivated to remain in Michigan because they would have established contacts in their field.
This program could be called Michigan INTerns or MINT, something new, fresh, and exciting for Michigan.
There are several methods for how MINT could find students. Perhaps they might begin with the WXYZ Brightest & Best or students with high scores on the ACT, among other classifications.
Begin by sending students a survey asking them about their future career plans and what they are looking for in an internship. Our state has the resources needed to keep its young professionals here if we simply lay the opportunities before them.
MINT would then pair a student with a company in their desired field of study. MINT would enroll Michigan based companies in all industries: catering, marketing, publishing, theater, television, radio, banking, accounting, real estate, engineering, manufacturing, automotive, education, home services, etc.
Joining MINT will be beneficial for a company. The environment of their business will likely feel fresh and vibrant because ambitious, enthusiastic interns will bring energy to the company.
The company also gains workers at a low wage who will want to be successful in completing the work assigned to them. This will be beneficial to the financial aspect of the business, as well as the labor component. Interns may wish to continue with the company through their college years and return to work for the business later. The business would then gain a knowledgeable, trustworthy employee who has years of experience in the company.
Interns will be paired with an upper level employee as their mentor. It is key that the mentor be passionate about Michigan, motivated to keep young professionals in Michigan, and enthusiastic about actively promoting Michigan. They may have strong or long-term family ties to Michigan. They may have been involved in organizations that promote the sustainability of Michigan or have been a part of a movement to stimulate the future of our state. With a “Michigan passionate”mentor, the intern is more likely to be influenced to remain in Michigan.
MINT has the potential to retain Michigan students, bring hope to the future of Michigan, and revitalize passion for our state.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A new fleet of ambulances has been promised to the City of Detroit-- but while they are on order, lives remain in danger.
Who would stay and who would go if the proposed sports and entertainment district gets the final green light?
The Michigan Supreme Court has ousted a Wayne County judge for forging her lawyer's signature on divorce papers and lying under oath.