When Michael Dames graduated from the U-M in 1988, he looked for a job that would make a difference in the lives of other people.
The Boy Scouts of America gives direction and focus. It brings young people in off the streets and gives them an I can attitude, says the senior exploring executive for the Wolverine Council of the organization.
Dames, who played offensive guard for the U-M in 19841988, has been with the Boy Scout office since 1989, and was appointed senior exploring executive last month.
He works with young men and women, ages 1420, in career exploration, giving them hands-on experience and acquainting them with the prerequisites needed for a job in such fields as criminal justice, engineering, dentistry, medicine and computer science.
Mike is very special to us, says Mark Fairclough, Dames supervisor for three years. He has a tremendous mission with young people. This is not just a job to him.
Dames spoke last Wednesday to more than 200 volunteers at the Universitys United Way kick-off luncheon.
I was dissatisfied with the things I saw in the community, so I looked for a job that would let me change those things, he said. You are here today for the same reasons. You see the homeless, the hungry people in the community and you want to change those things. That is what the United Way does.
The Universitywide campaign, which will run through Nov. 3, is focusing this year on increasing the number of participants to more than 50 percent of employees, compared with last years 48 percent, says John D. Forsyth, the Universitys general chair.