Chanelle Manus, a 2009 high school graduate, learned many lessons from the Midnight Golf Program that she still carries in her back pocket. From how to keep an open mind, to where to place a name tag, to when to write a thank you note, to how to research colleges, MGP taught her life skills that were not being presented in the public school system. She says, “Midnight Golf is really good for support and giving you the tools that you need to be successful.”
And that success has followed her. In the ten years since high school graduation, Chanelle has focused on education. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University; landed an internship with the Detroit Lions media relations department (MGP connections helped to open the door); attained a Juris Doctor degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School; and is in her fourth season as an intern with the Detroit Pistons.
While studying for the Michigan Bar Exam, she worked three jobs, yet passed the exam last year on her first try. One of the really compelling aspects of Chanelle’s educational journey is that she served as a mentor at Midnight Golf all through law school and while studying for the bar.
“Midnight Golf was just one of those things that I could not give up,” says Chanelle.
Today she is an HR policy specialist for the City of Detroit, where she writes, conducts research and analyzes policy and will be transitioning to her own law firm – Manus Law – this year. Her future aspirations include working in a professional role for the NBA.
“It is imperative to lift as we climb”
Although she hasn’t reached the pinnacle of her career, she is determined to help others.
It is imperative to lift as we climb,” says Chanelle. “As I’m working to try to make a career for myself, it’s important to give back to the Midnight Golf
Program youth who are looking to make something of themselves.”
The Midnight Golf Program helped Chanelle figure out what she wanted to do, where to go to school, and how to accomplish her goals. “If I can do that for someone else, that brings me satisfaction.”
Even today, she relies on a handful of special people she met in Midnight Golf for counsel.
“Ms. Reneé, Mr. Ambrose, Mr. Gamlin, Sommer [Woods], and Jason [Malone]. These are people that, if I’m considering a big life choice, I talk to, find out their opinion,” says Chanelle. “It really matters to me what they think.”