The Flint & Genesse Chamber of Commerce recently recognized MSU alumna Essence Wilson for her work to improve life in her hometown, Flint.
She and her husband, Glenn, co-founded Communities First, Inc. A non-profit, the organization works to build healthy, vibrant communities through economic development, affordable housing and innovative programming.
Thus far, the organization has been successful in securing more than $16 million in investments for housing and economic development in the Flint area.
Essence Wilson is the group's chief strategy officer. "I am so fortunate that I get to work in my hometown of Flint by putting to use my degrees in mechanical engineering and management, leadership and strategy.
"There have been many other opportunities for me to make more money, but none that allow me to have such a positive and direct impact on the lives of others," she said.
In addition to her work with Communities First, Inc., she is also co-director of a middle-school girls' STEM program called Curiosity Academy. She said she enjoys inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists in the community based after-school program.
She earned a master's degree in business in the Eli Broad College of Business in 2015.
Visit Communities First, Inc., to learn more about the organization.