First opportunities are the important ones. They stick with us, help us to grow, and often benefit us for much longer than we could have ever anticipated at the time. Do you remember an opportunity that you were given that changed your life? Your career? Your trajectory? Where would you be now if you had not taken the opportunity, and where are you now as a result? Opportunities inform the route our lives take and can make a real difference.
Providing the first opportunity can change a person forever. – Eugene Applebaum
For Eugene Applebaum, first opportunities were important, and he lived by this philosophy. The Applebaum Fellows Program was designed on the very basis of providing such opportunities. For some, the program is a stepping stone to a career or experience in a new industry; but above all, an opportunity to get a taste of what is possible for the future.
ABOUT THE APPLEBAUM FELLOWS PROGRAM:
The mission of the Applebaum Fellows Program is to provide opportunities for young people to inspire entrepreneurship, independence, and leadership. Applebaum Fellows come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it is a Program Intern at Detroit Symphony Orchestra, an Engagement Intern at Hillel of Metro Detroit, or a Dare to Dream Grant Recipient at the University of Michigan Ross Business School, the experience can be a turning point for the individual.
The program continues to evolve and welcomes new individuals each year. Yet with just over 150 fellows since its formalization in 2018, how do we know if we are making a difference?
In a time when we are very much tied to data and numbers, impact, and metrics, sometimes it is about one opportunity and one person at a time. This is the concept and essence of the Applebaum Fellows Program. In this year of disconnection and fracture, it is important to reflect on the stories that shape what it means to make a difference. This is what the Applebaum Fellows Program is designed to do. We are proud to share three such examples where an opportunity has made a real difference in the growth trajectory of these individuals.
PROVIDING OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH – APPLEBAUM FELLOWS IN 360
Introducing … Eleanor Oakes
We met Eleanor in 2016 when she was an Applebaum Artist-in Residence at Ponyride Detroit.
As an Applebaum Artist-in Residence at Ponyride Detroit, Eleanor created “Graffiti Wanted”, a public art collaboration aimed to “engage a place-specific dialogue about public art, vandalism, and censorship in Detroit. Anyone was welcome to participate at any time during the two-month installation, no approval or permission was required, participants could remain anonymous and there were no restrictions on what could be drawn on the wall.”
As her success grew, so did her vision for Detroit. In 2015, Eleanor founded Darkroom Detroit, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing photography access, education, and visual literacy in Detroit. Her partnership with Applebaum Family Philanthropy advanced, providing support for the organization which has resulted in two artist cohorts of the Darkroom Detroit Applebaum Photography Fellowship and a newly launched Artists-in-Residence initiative with Applebaum Philanthropy starting in 2021.
Introducing … Goode Wyche III
We met Goode in 2019 when he was an undergraduate student at Wayne State University and served as an Applebaum Program Intern at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Goode joined the DSO team as an Applebaum Program Intern in April 2019. He played a key role in supporting the launch of Sosnick Courtyard as an official DSO event space and executing CUBE programming during the summer. The skills and experience gained during his fellowship made him a competitive candidate for a permanent, full-time position at the DSO. Goode completed his Bachelor of Music from Wayne State University in December 2018 and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the WSU Mike Ilitch School of Business.
Thanks to Goode’s hard work and performance as an Applebaum Program Intern, the DSO hired him on as a full-time professional as their CUBE Coordinator. In this post, Goode serves as a primary contact and provides support for all CUBE, Paradise Jazz, and Sosnick Courtyard programming in the areas of artist and event logistics, marketing, and strategic partnerships.
Introducing … Ellis Fried
We met Ellis in 2017 when he was a student at the University of Michigan Ross Business School.
Ellis was a recipient of the Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream Integrations Grant – in the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
His entrepreneurial pursuit, helped in part through the Dare to Dream grant program, was the creation and ultimate development of SMPL – a protein wellness snack brand. Ellis was named the 2017 BBA Entrepreneur of the Year and benefited from many awards and grants from the Ross School of Business during his time at the University of Michigan.
As the Founder of SMPL, he has been featured by Forbes and Business Insider, with the product now being distributed in leading retailers across the country such as Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdale’s. Ellis came back to Ann Arbor last year to serve as an advisor in the first annual Applebaum Pitch program for current student recipients in the Applebaum Dare to Dream program and Applebaum Ventures has invested in his company.
An opportunity can be the change agent in one’s life. At the end of the day, the global mission of the Applebaum Fellows program is strategic; assisting individuals to achieve their next level of success. Eleanor, Goode, Ellis, and many others, serve as great examples. We look forward to advancing this important work and cannot wait to see what is yet to come as a result!
Learn more about these individuals and their work through the links below.