In 2015 the Brilliant Detroit Founders met. They bonded by a desire to create a radically new approach to kindergarten readiness in Neighborhoods. They saw that the best way to do this was to create a unique model delivery in how early childhood success was approached.

Jim Bellinson brought an amazing investment and scaling background. Carolyn Bellinson brought a focus on building people through clear pathways. Cindy Eggleton brought early childhood, impact and community expertise.

Together they envisioned what could be and then, while on a daily run, Jim realized that the underused housing stock in Detroit could be used to create early childhood and family centers in each neighborhood.  The homes would be a much more accessible and welcoming than the other institutional settings that were available.  They reached out to others for input and built a model that is with, for, and by neighbors to deliver holistic services for kids 0-8 in a home in their neighborhood with existing evidence-based programs around health, family supports, and education.

Brilliant Detroit was born to create kid success neighborhoods.

In each location neighbors come together for fellowship, activities and learning that assure school readiness, well-being and needed support for the families.

Key to the success is that the work is:

  • Family-centered. Families work alongside staff to ensure programs and services meet the needs of families and support intellectual, social and emotional growth of their young children.  
  • Evidence-based. Brilliant and our partner organizations utilize evidence-based, quality curricula that have proven to be effective, equitable and powerful among families and children.
  • Neighborhood-based. Brilliant Detroit homes serve as community magnets and provide families and children with existing and consistent places to receive services and support.
  • Coordinated and continuous. We coordinate existing programs and services in one place to allow families easier and better access to opportunities to learn, grow and thrive.  Opportunities that allow them to choose their own path.
  • Relationship-driven.  Everything is based on relationships. With the neighborhood, with each family, and neighbor-to-neighbor.

Today over 1200 participants we know we are on to something. Importantly neighbors in each location own the movement. Maybe creating kid success neighborhoods was not so audacious after all.

Join us in creating kid success neighborhoods

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Brilliant Detroit is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods where families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school-ready, healthy, and stable.

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Contact Info

Headquarters Address:
5675 Larkins Street, Detroit, MI 48210