FLINT, Michigan—She works at the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce as a procurement tech assistant by day and by night transforms into Flint’s virtual curator of millennial wonders. Her name is Ashley Sanders, 25, and she’s here to set the record straight with her online platform The Millennial Showcase
“I want to show people that its not just about millennials in Flint,” said Sanders. “I want to show people that … millennials are talented — we’re not just on our phones for no reason.”
Adjectives like anti-social, technology-obsessed, and lazy were words Sanders has heard in many cross-generational discussions. As someone who works with small business owners — whose ages from the 20s to 70s — Sanders is privy to both sides of the conversation.
“There are so many people that I grew up with that are talented. I’ve seen so many people now who are up to really great things, but who gives them the recognition?” Sanders said.
After graduating from Southwestern Classical Academy, she attended the University of Michigan-Flint on a full-ride scholarship. There she studied communications and embraced her natural talent for public speaking. Bothered by the portrayal of her generation, Sanders only recently turned to writing as a way to address those nagging concerns.
After fits of restless experimentation, Sanders launched The Millennial Showcase two months ago. This online museum highlights the poets, bloggers, fitness gurus, rappers, and videographers, many of whom she grew up with in Flint.
Photos and descriptions take center stage of the digital gallery itself, but the site is also offers a blog, portfolio, music, fashion, and sports section. She eventually hopes to expand her website to include video interviews and a podcast, but for right now writing is Sanders’ primary medium.
Over time, she’s expanded her showcase, reaching out to more and more people, usually via Facebook and offering them a spot in her virtual exhibition completely free of cost.
One of the most powerful elements of Sanders’ work is that she bestows a specific title/honor on each person highlighted. On her website you can read about young people branded The Millennial Influencer, the Millennial King of Fitness, and the Millennial Lyrical Genius.
For Sanders it only takes an hour or so to craft the perfect exhibition piece. Through this work, Sanders gives each participant a space to shine and creates a sense of community for her generation simply by giving props where props belong.
“We are who we want us to be,” said Sanders.
For more information on The Millennial Showcase, email [email protected]
or check out their Facebook page