30100 Telegraph Road
Bingham Farms, Michigan 48025
David Gamlin is a leader with a vision. A first-generation college student himself, he strives to ensure that every young person who goes through his Detroit-based program is armed with the knowledge that a support system exists to help with many issues that today’s post-secondary students face.
Michigan Nightlight: What does being a leader mean to you?
Midnight Golf Program Director David Gamlin
: It means doing all I can to make a clear path for the organization to function at its best. This includes removing obstacles that can limit success. It means equipping all involved to insure that there are effective resources available to accomplish the goals to which we committed. This applies to the entire organization
We want them to live their passion and know that they have a network of people that are committed to helping them achieve their goals.
including the board of directors, the dozens of mentors that volunteer their time, the instructors who pass on the knowledge and the young people we serve.
What is your dream for kids?
The dream for our young people - we never say “kids” because we are helping them transition into adulthood – is for each of them to reach their highest potential. It’s implicit in everything we do. We want their success to be boundless. We want them to live their passion and know that they have a network of people that are committed to helping them achieve their goals. We also want them to know that they are responsible to be part of this living, breathing network and help those that follow them.
What is one concrete thing that could be done to improve the environment for
social sector work in Michigan?
To change the notions that people have about people in need. To give them the same level of dignity that you would give anybody, even if they are in really challenging situations.
When people sincerely believe that “but by the grace of God, that could be me,” they move with much more intention and dignity. There’s a lot of change going on in the social sector and when people that work within the social sector genuinely serve those in need, genuinely taking reality into consideration, the outcomes are entirely different. They are much better.
How do you know you’re making progress?
Hearing about young people on the dean’s list, traveling the world, being successful in business and achieving goals far beyond their initial plan is what gives us the certainty that we are making a difference.
The Follow Through program is intended to insure that the Midnight Golf Program alumni stay in college and graduate and are not curtailed by manageable challenges. We don’t want them to be forced out of school because they didn’t know how to network with the people that are in place to help them. Students should not leave college because they didn’t understand the peripheral costs of college and because their personal financial capabilities were maxed out with the main items – books, lab fees, living expenses outside of room, board and tuition. Money when the computer crashes or to travel back and forth to home.
We provide the direction and assistance that insures they stay in college and to graduate. In many cases, this includes graduate degrees.
What are you most proud of?
The Midnight Golf Program has encouraged so many students to reach for possibilities beyond their original plan. Students who were without plans for higher education are now in community college. Students who never intended to venture outside
The nature of our world has very little sympathy for the unprepared. The world is flat and fast and if you are unconsciously incompetent, you will never see the finish line.
of Michigan are now in excellent universities around the country. Students with little travel experience who are visiting Africa, South America and China and experiencing a much more significant life because they were empowered through The Midnight Golf Program and Follow Through.
What keeps you awake at night?
What keeps me up is the quest to develop the tools and techniques to grow the program in ways that are current and prepare young people for a future that will insist on them being capable around the globe. The nature of our world has very little sympathy for the unprepared. The world is flat and fast and if you are unconsciously incompetent, you will never see the finish line.