Two Ross Grads Win Google’s ‘Pay It Forward’ Prize


Two Ross alums were recently recognized by Google for their student work at Ross with the Detroit Revitalization & Business Initiative, winning the company’s MBA “Pay It Forward” prize.

The award is given to recognize undergraduate and MBA students who are positively impacting their local Black communities. And Steve Worthy and Ben Stickel, MBAs ’16, definitely fit the bill.

The two are former co-presidents of the Detroit R&B club, and during their time at Ross worked to institute a new mentorship program for Detroit youth.

Stickel and Worthy presenting their work to Googlers at 
Google HQ earlier this summer. Image credit: Google

Visiting with high school and middle school children at two Detroit public schools, the program sends business leaders and MBAs into the schools to talk with the students about the path they’ve taken to get to where they are today and to break down specific aspects of business – accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, and leadership were covered in this first year.

“It’s important for these young students to see people who look like them doing interesting and impressive things professionally,” Worthy said. “It makes those careers feel real, and more importantly, attainable.”

In addition to the mentorship program, the duo increased the number of Impact Projects the R&B Initiative participated in to its largest number to date– working with four non-profit community and economic development organizations, a learning innovation institute, and a commercial real-estate developer.

“Leading R&B with Ben and launching this mentorship initiative was an awesome leadership and entrepreneurial skills development opportunity for me, and I think of it as one of the most fulfilling experiences I had at Ross,” Worthy said.

The two traveled to Google HQ earlier this summer as part of the award to take part in a two-day tour of the campus and present their work to Googlers.

You can see a rundown of all of their on-site activities on the Google for Students blog.

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