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Courtney Ford

2016 Building community through Greek Life

COURTNEY ’S STORY

What makes you a Difference Maker?

I believe my passion for my sorority and the Panhellenic Council, creativity and open mindedness as a leader, philanthropic spirit and commitment to excellence makes me a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. I fully commit to the positions I hold and lead our Panhellenic and Greek community to grow as leaders and community members. I believe that the Greek community and this campus can grow, and I do everything I can to follow through on promises made and continue to improve student life.

My involvement in Greek Life has without a doubt shaped me into the person and leader I am today. Through my experiences I have formed lasting relationships and gained valuable skills that will help me in the future. I am a Difference Maker because this campus and its Greek community are my life, and I work tirelessly to uphold and improve it.

Campus Achievements:

In 2013, I raised funds to give away a $10,000 scholarship to Woodhaven High School’s Class of 2017 in honor of a young girl, Maddie, who lost her life to leukemia.

I’ve worked to improve the Panhellenic recruitment practices and welcomed 40+ women to our Greek community and am doing so again this year. Being a part of the Panhellenic Council and as Panhellenic president, I’ve been constantly striving to help women grow their leadership skills.

I was nominated for the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year in 2013 and as UM-Dearborn Greek Life’s Emerging Greek Leader in 2015.

I’ve been nominated for two awards given out by UM-Dearborn Greek Life: the Panhellenic Woman of the Year and Greek Woman of the Year. I’ve also been nominated for Distinguished Student Leader through the Office for Student Engagement. It is an amazing honor to be nominated.

Leadership Experiences:

I am a part of Greek Life and have served as vice president of recruitment and as president for the Panhellenic Council, where I help lead women (and men) to be the best versions of themselves—as leaders, community members and students.

Off campus, I am involved with DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools around the globe. I judge and mentor high school students at the district and state competitions every year. I love to help plan fundraisers and philanthropic events.

What is your Dream Career?

I have always had a passion for marketing and event planning, which continues to grow because of my involvement with DECA and some of the PR related positions I've held in Greek Life. In the future, I hope to become an executive in the business and marketing field (VP of marketing) for a professional sports team like the Red Wings or Tigers. It would be a dream to combine three things I love: Detroit, sports and marketing!

Greek Life has taught me that we should all work to make a difference in the world. That is why I also want to start my own nonprofit organization in honor of all lives lost to cancer, especially Maddie and my Uncle Tim, who lost his battle with brain cancer in 2014. Cancer affects far too many people and their families. I would love to help families affected by cancer in any way possible and reduce the effects of this terrible disease. I want to leave the world in a better place than before.

What was your Most Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?

My most defining moment at UM-Dearborn was Maddie’s Hope, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser with the American Marketing Association (AMA). In the summer of 2013, a local girl and family friend, Maddie, passed away from childhood leukemia. When Maddie was diagnosed in June, I approached the AMA executive board and pitched this idea for a fundraiser. After brainstorming, we started to plan a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help her family financially with her anticipated bone marrow transplant procedure that she and her brother were going to undergo—her older brother was going to be her donor. Unfortunately, Maddie passed away from complications from her chemotherapy in July. Even with the change of events we still went planned the fundraiser and we raised enough money to give a $10,000 scholarship to Woodhaven High School's Class of 2017.

2015 Panhellenic recruitment was also a pretty defining moment on campus for me. It was a great feeling to see all my hard work and countless hours of planning a week’s worth of events come to an end and see 40+ women find their homes in Greek Life on Bid Day!