American-made Excellence

by | Aug 23, 2019 | DEREK ‘FONZWORTH BENTLEY’ WATKINS, DTU 2019 | 0 comments

By Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins

My grandfather instilled in me the idea of the excellence of American automotive engineering. That was then passed down to my father, and I remember when he brought home the Pontiac 6000. He stressed how American-made cars were built to be stronger and more efficient. That impressed me and gave me an understanding of how spending my dollars on American-made products supported our economy.

My uncle is a retired GM engineer. My father-in-law was an engineer local to the Detroit area. GM has a rich history of automotive innovation. For 20 years, Innovating Connected Emergency Services has proven to be an asset to all automobiles. When GM debuted OnStar in 1996, it was the first in-vehicle technology in the industry that automatically connected to a live person when a vehicle’s airbags deployed. That advisor works with first responders to provide assistance.

Along with access to industry-leading technology, OnStar’s emergency advisors receive innovative training that allows them to be prepared for all situations — from vehicle crashes to mothers giving birth to helping during natural disasters. As a new father, knowing that OnStar advisors receive this training gives me another layer of comfort as I raise my family.

OnStar also has implemented Emergency Medical Dispatch, which uses set protocols to help advisors assess each situation and provide pre-arrival information to first responders. Together, OnStar’s technology and advisors give first responders the information they need even before they arrive on the scene.

Electronic Stability Control is one of my favorite innovations of this new generation. The system offers significant improvements in performance by sensing when a vehicle is about to lose control, then intervening to keep the vehicle stable.

When I get into the cockpit of the new Chevrolet Blazer, it’s steeped in technology that makes not only the driving experience more enjoyable, but also more efficient. From the ease of climate control to the mirror rearview camera and its impressive camera angles, and, of course, the vehicle’s sleek design and performance, American automotive engineering has continued to innovate and uphold the vision my grandfather and father imparted to me as a teenager.

DJ Envy’s Wisdom

I wish that the Chevrolet DTU program had existed when I was in college. I know it will play an important role in kick-starting these current DTU Fellows’ careers in journalism and media. I believe this experience can empower these young journalism students to reach the next level in their careers.

American-made Excellence

GM has a rich history of automotive innovation. For 20 years, Innovating Connected Emergency Services has proven to be an asset to all automobiles.

Why I Chose to Be a Mentor for the “Discover the Unexpected” Program

This program gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to put what they have learned to work in real time at some of the most powerful press outlets in the nation. In a global economy where work experience is increasingly important, this program gives individuals who have matriculated through these prestigious universities not only a jump start on their careers, but it also invests in them as a network of untapped entrepreneurial talent.

Houston Airwaves: A Summer Breeze

I had an experience of a lifetime this weekend when my team was invited to one of the biggest radio stations in Houston, Majic 102.1. The conversation on air was a breeze and even comical at times. After the interview, I got the chance to see how much work is actually put in producing a radio show.

Keeping Busy In The Chi

With my first two years completed at North Carolina A&T I have had on-campus experiences pertaining to writing news, interviewing and developing journalism skills. But I’ve never had the opportunity like the one Chevy Discover The Unexpected has given me this summer, to not only travel the country and develop genuine connections, but to also learn about our Black communities and the triumphs and downfalls that occur within them, that are rarely shared on a broader scale in the mainstream media.

Coast To Coast: L.A. To Chicago

After getting back to Chicago, my team and I prepared to attend ComplexCon, a convention hosted by a leading urban magazine. It is a leading convention in showcasing what’s trending in mainstream culture. It was a nice experience, but I realized that I’m not in touch with popular culture. From the fashion down to the hottest new artist(s), I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. And you know what, I don’t care.

I Could Make Chicago a Thing

The Chicago Crusader has shown us a great time, and they have also been challenging me to do things that I am not naturally comfortable with. I’m actually a published journalist now, which is crazy because I am not a great writer, but it is still cool to say that some of my work has been published.

A Message to The Chevy DTU Fellows: Boot Camp Opening Remarks

Introducing Michelle Matthews-Alexander, Multicultural Marketing Manager at General Motors. Michelle has dedicated her career to enhancing major corporations’ relationship with diverse communities. Since joining GM in 2015, Michelle has not only advocated for, but helped spearhead Chevrolet’s Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship program. In partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, she and Chevrolet have invested in the future of Black Journalism while simultaneously supporting students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Chevrolet Discover The Unexpected program continues to provide opportunity to young journalists as they work to tell the stories that matter.

Life After Discover The Unexpected

My Discover the Unexpected experience at the Louisiana Weekly newspaper was very influential to my life. I was fresh out of Clark Atlanta University and I was looking for an opportunity to produce current and cultural news stories. The Louisiana Weekly gave me the opportunity to write and report my own stories.

Getting Started With The Houston Forward Times

First week in Houston is in the books, and I wrote my first cover story! On the first day in the office, we got breaking news about a press conference that would be happening the next morning on some recent killings of innocent children in the Houston area.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT CHEVROLET

ALL-NEW BLAZER

Blazer combines sophisticated styling with AWD capability to fuel all your journeys.

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CARING MATTERS

See why Chevy has been caring for over a hundred years.

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EXPLORE NEW ROADS WITH US

New Roads is devoted to those who want to discover more. Read stories of newly revealed vehicles, technology how-tos and Chevy owner profiles.

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