Interns with intention: Educating a community through entrepreneurship - The GOODS

Posted by Myron Manns on

 

Michigan's own calls Flint home

The Artistic Decision 

23-year-old Central Michigan University student Brandon York is a man of purpose. Born in Detroit and raised in Wayne County, his family would later move to Flint by the time he was due to enter high school. After graduating from Grand Blanc High School in 2013, he attended Mott Community College, enrolling in their criminal justice program with hopes of becoming a police officer, but when the national conversation on inner-city policing would follow in 2014, Brandon was left with a decision to make on how he might best impact the community.

Brandon at GoodBoy GDBY Mfg Co. 

“I saw everything that was happening, especially surrounding police officers, and I wasn’t sure if it was what was best for me.” 

Taking some time to reflect before heading off to CMU after finishing his core classes at Mott, one of Brandon’s long-held talents came to the fore of his mind and mission. Photography, design and “anything seen as a ‘cultural’ outlet” was all things of interest for Brandon, and the young student would find himself taking an unexpected yet very desirable path.

“I’ve always been a creative person, and I ultimately fell into fashion.”

  

His talent, which motivated a shift in his studies, would reveal to Brandon the potential to make an impact on culture through clothing. Recently ending his junior year, his coursework required completing an internship. Like the majority of students in his field of study, New York, and Chicago had great appeal, but with great appeal came great living expenses, and he soon realized that what he truly wanted to do would best be granted to him through GoodBoy, the burgeoning cultural clothing company right in his backyard.

“I heard about GoodBoy online and my mother sent me an article on them. I stopped in to meet with Oaklin in November last year and we instantly connected.” Oaklin was immediately Impressed with Brandon’s character, and having an intern come in was of interest to Oaklin and the team at GoodBoy. 

Since coming on board in April of this year, Brandon has been “dabbling in everything,” from working mainly as a showroom manager to becoming “a kind of like a connoisseur,” doing website design, contacting models for photo shoots, providing graphic designs and merchandise planning. Now coming to the end of his internship, Brandon is reflecting on the journey with gratitude and a measured perspective.

 

 “I’ve learned so much and I really like the vibe that Oaklin brings. I could have gotten an internship with a major corporation and that would have been cool, but there, you’re just another intern and just a number. With Oaklin, he always asks for my creative input and my aspect, and a lot of it gets implemented in the store.”

“I heard about GoodBoy online and my mother sent me an article on them. I stopped in to meet with Oaklin in November last year and we instantly connected.” 

All photos are under copyright courtesy of Good Creative 2018.

The community impact that once eluded him, came back to him in one of the most unexpected of ways. Interning at GoodBoy Clothing not only gave Brandon a means to shape culture through a positive brand, it allowed him to “come home” and shape a community undergoing a renaissance. 

Now heading off for his senior this year at CMU, Brandon, like most college seniors, is just looking forward to walking across the stage.

“It’s been a long journey, so I’m ready to finish strong.”

 

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