TENN has major impact on Detroit communities

For over 10 years, Detroit Mercy’s Titan Equity Nourish Network (TENN) has made an extraordinary impact on the Detroit community through its’ acts of service and commitment to making a difference where it matters most. 

A noteworthy aspect of TENN is the opportunity students are given to earn service-learning hours by volunteering for a various array of events and community work. 

Student volunteers and team members regularly take part in fresh produce deliveries, gardening when the weather permits and several other community building services such as soup kitchens and gift making. 

“My favorite part of being involved with TENN has been being able to contribute to school activities and meet new people,” biology major and UDM senior Kathryn Dean said. “Especially since I commute, working with school groups makes it easier for me to connect with other students and our community.”

Program manager Chelsea Manning leads the campus organization with the priorities of increasing food access, sustainability and community engagement. 

“We deliver perishable foods to those in our community who may have less access to these items, and even though it won't make or break anyone, it serves as a supplement,” Manning said. “We also do a ton more than that as an organization- we have a garden where we grow our own produce to then give out and a Food Waste Reduction Program that were hoping to bring to TDR next semester.”

TENN works to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the Detroit citizenry and involved members. The mission is to grow in leadership and meaningful service by positively impacting others. 

The organization offers students the potential to make their college experience more advantageous rather than focusing solely on curriculum. The charitable and empowering nature of TENN holds the power of building lasting character attributes in a number of instrumental capacities. 

“Engaging in service and seeing the impact we’ve made has been a highlight of our group activities,” TENN team member Lydia Chapman said.

Bonding with those who share an interest in community building and team collaboration is as easy as visiting the TENN campus connection page, where there is a full schedule of events to take part in. Whether it be to fulfill service-learning hours, course requirements, or personal engrossment and achievement, TENN is always looking for helping hands.

“We’ve created a cool little community and also give the groups that we help something to look forward to,” Manning said. 

TENN also offers internship positions to students who wish to have a higher level of involvement and experience gain. 

“I was introduced to TENN through my role as the communications, or marketing intern,” said Jennifer Raptoplous, a TENN intern for the fall 2023 semester. “I was welcomed instantly by the TENN team, and by my supervisor Chelsea. Overall, my experience with them has been really incredible. I now consider the impact I can have through food equity and sustainability, and what it means to be mindful of the needs of others.”