Millennial Trains Project Coming to Colorado
DU alumna is part of cross-country tour encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship
This Sunday night, a different kind of train will make a stop at Denver’s Union Station. The vintage train consists of only a few cars, but inside will be more than two-dozen millennials who are motivated to become the next generation of leaders.
The Millennial Trains Project is now in its fourth year. The nonprofit brings together a group of young adults who travel the country by train, meeting with community leaders along the way. This year, the project split the group of 52 millennials into two different journeys. The first journey came to an end last weekend after making stops in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque and Los Angeles. The second journey got underway Wednesday and will make stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Milwaukee and Detroit.
For more than a week, the vintage train cars become home. Along the way and in cities where they stop, participants will meet with community and business leaders and have the opportunity to spend time with innovators in their fields of interest. Erik Mitisek, executive director of DU’s Project X-ITE and chief innovation officer for the state of Colorado, will ride on the train from Grand Junction to Denver and will meet with the millennials in Denver.
Ally Seeley is one of the 26 millennials who will be on the train making a stop in Denver. The University of Denver alumna graduated with a degree in electronic media arts and design. “Having the opportunity to be a participant on the Millennial Trains Project is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Seeley, who works as a graphic designer and as part of the Something Independent team in the Colorado entrepreneurial community.
Along the journey, Seeley says, she will interview people behind companies and organizations grounding themselves in the values of community, innovation, unified passion and the courage to forge ahead. She will then share these stories in a project titled “On the Rails”, a six-episode storytelling feature that will include podcasts, photos, videos and other storytelling elements. “Traveling on a transcontinental train journey is unique in itself, but adding the Millennial Trains Project and On the Rails components helps define a new spirit of pioneering,” Seeley says.
While in Denver, Seeley will meet with the owners of Winter Session, a local company that designs and manufactures unisex canvas and leather carry goods. Winter Session combines traditional craft techniques with newer technologies to create bags, wallets, cases and other wearables. Seeley will visit with different innovators on every stop along her journey.
“Sharing these stories with the communities I visit will shine a light on people right next door following their passion,” Seeley says. “It makes the sometimes intimidating ides of starting their own business more tangible and relatable.”
The DU Newsroom will connect with Seeley while she makes her stop in Denver and update her journey.