Engineering a Legacy

Charity can sometimes come even through tragedy.  Michelle and Al Clemens are building a foundation of support right here in the heart of Detroit.


Air Date: May 24, 2018

Ian Clemens was a teenager with a heart of gold. He wanted to become an engineer and use his skills to make the world a better place.

Mitch: And out of the blue you discover that he has this rare form of brain cancer.

Michelle: It was very quick we lost him 32 days after diagnosis. He had big plans as an engineer to either develop something or come up with an idea that was going to better the lives of people all over the world.

To honor her son’s dream, Michelle and her husband Al started The Ian Clemens Memorial Scholarship for Wayne County high school students looking to pursue a career in engineering.

Michelle: We wanted to set up an endowment out at U of M in his name because it was so important to him to go to that university we wanted to make sure he stayed affiliated with it.

Mitch: Another aspect of your organization is providing funds to help people whose children are battling cancer.

Michelle: Yes if an emergency comes up and you need additional funds that there is something available for them. A few times a year we actually take dinners out to the hospitals and just to see the sense of relief on the family’s faces knowing I don’t have to leave the floor I don’t have to worry about what we are going to do for dinner I don’t have to worry about an extra expense.

The money raised also provides assistance with things like travel expenses or loss of income. Every time she and Al are able to help, they think of Ian.

Michelle: So although he is not here he is actually impacting others because of him. So for us it brings joy to our hearts in an otherwise tragic situation. 

Charity can sometimes come even through tragedy. Michelle and Al Clemens are building a foundation of support right here in the heart of Detroit.

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