Teia McGahey is passionate about making the world a better place for all those in it. She’s also a creative thinker and dreamer.
How else do you describe someone who created a competition for Michigan colleges to raise funds where the prize is a free concert by Eminem?
“By the time she approached me, she already reached out to Eminem’s publicist, had gotten four other colleges to commit and secured trucks for hauling donated items,” said Amy Finley, assistant director of civic engagement. “It was then I realized Teia might be someone special. Every time she has an idea, she attacks it with great persistence and commits herself to its completion.”
That’s just one reason she’s a UM-Dearborn Difference Maker.
Teia makes the most of her time on campus. When she’s not in class or on the court as a member of UM-Dearborn’s women’s basketball team, she’s involved with a variety of social justice-related student organizations.
“Teia is in her element and thrives when she is dedicating herself to service,” said Seth Newell, coordinator of campus activities and residential education.
Teia serves as president of Circle K International, a member of Blueprints Leadership Program, outreach chair for the Social Justice League and volunteer coordinator for She’s The First. She also is an apprentice for The Future Project in Detroit, an organization that inspires students to live with passion and purpose.
“I try to find every opportunity I can to engage myself in the world around me,” she said. “I believe that every person is connected in some way and it would be a disservice not to learn about the struggles a person can face and all of the wonderful things people can do that make them unique.”
Despite her busy schedule, Teia remains focused on why she came here—her education. The urban and regional studies major already has earned a spot on the CASL Dean’s List and was recognized by the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic for her academic performance.
Still a few years from graduation, Teia isn’t quite sure where life after college will lead her. What she does know is she’ll keep working toward making the world a better place.
“I want to help those who have historically faced struggles and help this country increase its sense of community so that everyone feels connected to and responsible for the well-being of their neighbors," she said. "I want to help ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to a safe and fulfilling life.”