Student Opportunity

Terrific Learning Opportunities for High School and College Students

The Detroit Economic Club’s (DEC) student programs provide an unparalleled experience for students to engage in thoughtful discussion with today’s local and national leaders and connect with DEC members.

Student Reception at DEC Meetings

Groups of high school and college students are invited to each DEC meeting, where they will participate in a student-only reception with the speaker(s) of the day, enjoy lunch, and attend the program. Generous corporate sponsors underwrite the student table fee, allowing students and chaperones to attend meetings free of charge.

Visit to join the invitation list.

Interested in learning more? Contact Derian Shaffer at

2023 Scholarship Winners with Detroit Economic Club President & CEO, Steve Grigorian, at the June 13, 2023 meeting.

The Detroit Economic Club Scholarship Program's purpose is to assist students from the city of Detroit and three surrounding area metropolitan counties in the pursuit of an undergraduate education. The criteria for selection includes:

  • Strong scholastic performance and academic honors received
  • Exemplary leadership and character as demonstrated by extra-curricular activities, service in school and community, volunteer involvement and paid work experience
  • Special consideration is given to students who have overcome hardships to achieve their personal and educational goals
  • Family economic need

A $2,000 renewable scholarship is awarded to two students each year. The DEC awards scholarships of up to eight students at any given time.

To apply for the DEC Scholarship Click Here.

For additional information, please email or call (313) 961-6675.

Scholarship Advisory Committee


Lenzi Abma

Scholarship Coordinator

Wendy Batiste-Johnson


Katie Brisson

Vice President, Program

Gina Coleman

Chief Diversity Officer

The Honorable Debbie Dingell


Steve Grigorian

President & CEO

Sandra Hermanoff

President & CEO

The Detroit Economic Club’s Career Readiness Academy (CRA) is a six-month program designed to teach career exploration skills to high school students throughout S.E. Michigan. During this journey, the same team of DEC Young Leader mentors and students connect to explore topics like future hot jobs, career economics, networking & interview skills, and how to market yourself.

This experience not only provides the opportunity for more personalized attention throughout sessions but also forges important mentor-mentee relationships.

Curriculum includes:

  1. CRA Intro, Hot Industries & Personal Brand - Field Trip
  2. Career Assessment
  3. Career Exploration
  4. Resume & LinkedIn
  5. Advanced Manufacturing & Skilled Trades - Field Trip
  6. Financial Literacy
  7. Interview Skills & Networking
  8. DEC Graduation Meeting - Field Trip

Enrollment for the program begins in September and typically runs from December - May. Visit for more information.

Interested in learning more? Contact Joanie Wiggins at &nbsp 2022 Governor's Service Award-Youth Services Impact Award Recipient

CRA Committee


Aaron Sohaski

Director of Compliance and Contracting


Committee Members


Heidi Boyd

Planned Giving Officer

Dorian Hooker

Sr. Corporate Governance Administrator

Derek Shinska

Client Executive

Aaron Sohaski

Attorney, Contract Compliance

Joanie Wiggins

Young Leader Program Coordinator

The Detroit Economic Club is excited to offer to high schools a choice of three 90-minute seminars facilitated by DEC member volunteers to high school students. Learning about these topics at an early age can help prepare students for success in business and in life. The seminars are as follows:

Personal Financial Health

Students will learn:

  • Basic money principles
  • How to develop a personal budget and track spending
  • Understand types of debt and debt management

Professional Communication

Students will learn:

  • Recognize how important communication is to all aspects of life and their personal brand
  • How and when to use the communication “puzzle pieces” to reach their professional goals
  • How to distinguish between listening and hearing


Students will learn:

  • How to craft a compelling elevator pitch and introduction
  • How to initiate and maintain professional conversations
  • Proper etiquette for following up and maintaining connections

School Commitment

  • 90-Minutes – Timeframe determined by school
  • Recruit 20-25 students who would like to participate (ideally who has not been a Career Readiness Academy student)
  • Provide any requirements for volunteer entry upon arrival (i.e. door entry, check-in process, background check form, etc.)
  • Provide details on parking for volunteers
  • Provide DEC with early access (1-hour) to a classroom with tech capabilities (Projector, screen, computer (we can email or bring the presentation on a USB drive)
  • Provide DEC with a main point of contact that can be in attendance for the duration of the seminar

Each seminar is offered once in the fall and spring. Visit to join the invitation list.

Interested in learning more? Contact Derian Shaffer at

Individuals or organizations may sponsor a student table for a tax-deductible donation of $550.

For their contribution, sponsors receive recognition at the meeting and the opportunity to take a photo with the speaker and the students. The photo is distributed to the sponsor and schools to be published in their community outreach publications.

To sponsor a school please email Matt Valant at