Larry Brinker Jr. works to revitalize Detroit

Sometimes helping your community is a family business, something Larry Brinker Jr. takes great heart in trying to help improve Detroit.

Detroit as a city is one built on industry and perseverance. After automakers began leaving the United States in droves, cities like Detroit spun into economic turmoil. The people living there didn’t have nearly as many options when it came to working. 

The city fell into disrepair for a long time but has begun an economic upswing thanks to people like Larry, who took inspiration from his father when it came to giving back to his community.

“My father started the business in 1989,” Larry tells Smiley News. “And through his hard work, he actually paved the way for me, going back to one of the first major projects that the company ever won which was a major project in Detroit back in the late 80s, and 89.”

Brinker has been a part of over $4 billion worth of revitalization and construction projects throughout Detroit to try and transform and bring the city back to its former heights.

After living through some of the worst points in the city, Larry just wanted to help turn the city’s fortunes around. 

“There was a lot of corruption going on in the city, people and businesses were leaving,” Larry says. “We had an economic downturn in 2008 or 2009 and made it even worse. So after seeing all of that it really inspired me to help bring about as much change as I can to help get people back into the area.”

Now, he just loves being able to walk through Detroit and see the work he’s helped accomplish.

Scholarships for struggling children

On a smaller scale, Brinker helps local kids with business mentorship and provides scholarships to those that struggle to pay for school. 

“I understand that if a child has an opportunity, that can really help to change the trajectory of their life,” Larry says. “And so as much as possible, what I tried to do was offer my time and mentorship, but then also through sharing the financial blessing or blessings that I’ve received by creating scholarships.”

One such scholarship is a Covid legacy scholarship that helped kids that may have lost a parent to the pandemic. 

In general, Larry just wants to represent the city that he grew up in and give back to it in whatever way he can.

“The thing that I love about Detroit is that it’s always been a hard-working blue-collar down to earth city in a way where people take pride in working hard people will take pride in doing the right thing,” Larry says.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Sustainable Cities and Communities.