Uncategorized Archives - Alternatives For Girls

If you feel your safety is threatened, you can quickly exit this website by pressing the Escape key or clicking the X in the bottom right-hand corner.

×

x

QUICK EXIT

LIVE CHAT

Meet the Role Model: First Assistant Chief of Police, Lashinda Stair, will receive the Role Model Award in March

Mar. 5 2019 |

Meet Lashinda Stair, one of our 2019 Role Models. Lashinda is the First Assistant Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department (DPD), the first member of the DPD to ever be appointed to this rank. During her 23 year career in the DPD, she has also held the ranks of Police Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Inspector and Deputy Chief. Lashinda is currently enrolled in the MBA Program at Wayne State University, and holds Master’s and Bachelor degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University. She is being recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and demonstrated leadership throughout her career at this year’s Role Model Dinner. 

Here are some clips from her recent conversation with AFG.

Alternatives For Girls (AFG): For many of the women we serve, AFG provides a support system to help them make positive choices. Was there anyone in your life or career who has helped guide you in making important decisions?

Lashinda Stair:  The women in my family, and some of the men in my family, too. As well as one of my earliest mentors in the department, who is the retired Assistant Chief.  I knew him when I was in high school at Cass Tech. He always looked out for me, and when I wanted to go into a different unit, which would have made me work nights and be in court a lot, he called me down to his office and said “If you have time to do this job, you have time to go back to school in finish your degree.” He was right, and I did go back and get my degree!

AFG: Clearly, you have felt inspired to give back to the community. Is there any part of your personal story that has led to this?

Stair: I’m from Chicago and had a very young mom. She had this incredible work ethic and always made sure to put her children first. So even though she was a teenage mother, she did what she could to put us first. But I know that not all young moms have the resources to do that. As a mom of a 15 year old, it’s easy for me to see the haves and have nots and look at the environments that these young people are in and know that things are not even. That inspires me to give back, because a lot of people don’t know what they can do unless they see it in someone else.

AFG: Who are your role models?

Stair: There are so many! It may sound crazy, but Michelle Obama. I’m looking at a picture of us together right now. What an incredible story, which is similar to mine. Coming from humble beginnings, making sure she stayed in school. And then marrying someone phenomenal, supporting him but still doing her own thing, and serving our nation and inspiring others to do what they need to do. I would certainly consider her a role model.

AFG: Which of your accomplishments are you the proudest of?

Stair: My children. I have a son who’s a freshmen in high school, and a daughter who’s a sophomore. Watching them grow up makes me reflect back on my own childhood. The life that my daughter lives I didn’t even know existed. I’m also proud of my relationship with people. That’s how I get my work done day to day. And the people around me are amazing!  


AFG: 
What advice would you give to the young women that AFG serves?

Stair:  I would say always know that where you started does not define where you’ll end up.

AFG: Why do you believe that it is important to empower girls and young women?

Stair: I think it’s important because girls and young women, we really rule the world and everything around us. And all of us are more alike than we are different. Often times we don’t know it. And we’re all capable of doing amazing things. It’s important to reinforce that so we can continue to prosper as a city, a region, and all over the world.

The 2019 Role Model Dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 27th at MGM Grand Detroit. Click here to learn more or to purchase a ticket.

Meet the Role Model: Meritor Inc.’s Linda Taliaferro will receive the Role Model Award in March

Mar. 5 2019 |

Meet Linda Taliaferro, our final 2019 Role Model. Linda is the Vice President of Global Quality for Meritor, Inc. Prior to joining Meritor, Linda held positions at Littelfuse, Inc., Johnson Controls, Inc., and Hayes Lemmerz, Inc. (now Maxion Wheels). She also founded The TEE – The Extra Effort, a career advisory service that assists women in changing the trajectory of their careers within corporate America. She is being recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and demonstrated leadership throughout her career at this year’s Role Model Dinner. 

Here are some clips from her recent conversation with AFG.

Alternatives For Girls (AFG): For many of the women we serve, AFG provides a support system to help them make positive choices. Was there anyone in your life or career who has helped guide you in making important decisions?

Linda Taliaferro:  I had many conscientious, kind people that came across my way that advocated for me or whispered in my ear and gave me advice. Scott Harrison, was a phenomenal boss that I had when I was moving into the executive level. I know I wouldn’t have achieved what I have if it wasn’t for him. I’ve had many other people that stepped up and helped when they didn’t have to. I’ve had the luxury of some great friends. You have to be selective of who you call your friends. Friends are not those people who tell you want you want to hear, but who tell you what you need to hear to make you do better.

AFG: Clearly, you have felt inspired to give back to the community. Is there any part of your personal story that has led to this?

Taliaferro: I grew up in a small town, my parents were hard working blue collar people. They divorced when I was 8 years old, so there were some challenging times before my mom remarried. She waited until I graduated and was going to college before remarrying. It was during those ten years, when it was just me and my mom, the critical people in my life, my uncle, a teacher, someone in my church community, kept me focused on my educational goals and becoming a VP one day. It’s those experiences that made me who I am today. My mom did the best she could, although we were low income, to introduce me to activities, like girl scouts. The teacher I mentioned, and the woman in my church, my uncle, they saw something in me and made me who I am today. My uncle told me I was good at math and science, and to keep going. Those three key people in my life that positively reinforced things to me, they inspired me to help young people.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can do whatever you want. I persevered through being different, and I made it where I am today. And for girls who might not be the prettiest or most popular, that doesn’t matter. What matters is being focused and working hard. It has a long term effect. Because I had the people in my life who took the time to care, I wanted to give back to the young people in life.

AFG: Who are your role models?

Taliaferro: My uncle Chester was my number one role model. He was my role model because of how he led his life; family was important to him. It’s hard to narrow down. There are people out there, famous ones, some that aren’t so famous, that really spent time reaching back and making a difference for where they are today or where they life today. LeBron James, he is an excellent role model for young people today. He became an overnight success at 18, but here has never been anything negative about him. But he also gives back, won a championship for Cleveland and then he opened a school. He’s now thinking about “What legacy can I leave for my kids?” He is an athlete that young people can look to for how to live your life. He could have gone off the tracks, but he didn’t. He is someone they can emulate, not to become a famous basketball player, but to learn how to work hard, how to sharpen my skills, be a good citizen, and position myself to give back. For me personally, my uncle is the only role model that I had. But, he did what LeBron did, and he also played professional football! There are a lot of things that could have happened that didn’t, a lot of bad decision he could have made that he didn’t. I can’t tell you the number of times he helped someone who needed it.

AFG: Which of your accomplishments are you the proudest of?

Taliaferro:  The people I’ve come across in my life that I’ve helped in their career. There are people that email me and tell me “I got this award”, and “I’ve been promoted and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.” Their successes are my greatest accomplishment. Which is why I started my own company, to do help do more of that.

AFG: What advice would you give to the young women that AFG serves?

Taliaferro:  I would tell [the girls and young women in Alternatives For Girls programs] to latch on to every second that you have within this organization because AFG is valuable. Part of the reason I’m so excited to be honored is because I get to mentor some of these young women. The girls and young women may have some people in their lives that are really speaking in their ear, and they might be sick of hearing that grades are important or to have good friends, but they will be glad if they listen to those things. It’s invaluable to even have one person who can help you listen to those things.

AFG: Why do you believe that it is important to empower girls and young women?

Taliaferro:  [Empowering girls and young women is important] because, I truly believe, they are really why families are successful, they are the leaders within families. So they also impact the country. That is what is so important for positive growth and development, it’s women. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t enough focus or attention on young girls, especially if they aren’t in the right neighborhood or zip codes. And a lot of people think boys are leaders and girls are not, and that view has been around for a long time. It’s important for girls to have balance, to be powerful and feminine and do whatever it is you want to do in life. That’s what is extremely important.

My mom did her best and taught me to do the bare minimum. But when I tried to do more and aspired to do more, she never stopped me. It’s amazing what women can do, when she grew up that wasn’t the case. That’s why we need to do what we can to move the needle for girls. Especially young women of color. We can make these changes, but we have to be a part of the change. That’s why I think it’s important to advocate for that change, and why Alternatives For Girls is so important, and why I’m on the board of the Girl Scouts, which is another organization moving the needle, and involved in STEM activities for girls; because we will face the future of our county. And we see it happening already with young women making change.

The 2019 Role Model Dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 27th at MGM Grand Detroit. Click here to learn more or to purchase a ticket.

Sew Great Detroit Member and Volunteers Participate in the Detroit Free Press Marathon

Oct. 30 2018 | Tags: ,

This month, members and volunteers of Sew Great Detroit participated in the Detroit Free Press Marathon 5k race! We talked to Sharon, SGD member, after the race was over to discuss the exciting experience.

Alternatives For Girls (AFG): Sharon, why did you want to enter the Detroit Free Press Marathon 5K event?

Sharon: I wanted to make another healthy change in my life and I want to encourage other women and girls to make healthy changes in their lives.

AFG: What did you enjoy the most about being in the 5K?

Sharon: I loved talking with all the people.  Everywhere I turned my head I saw something I liked, a little baby smiling at me or someone ringing a bell for me.  And I liked being on the Riverwalk.  It was beautiful.  There is so much to see and do downtown.  Now I want to take my grandsons to the Riverwalk and walk with them.

AFG: What did it feel like when the finish sign was in sight?

Sharon: When I could see the sign for the finish line in the distance I was really happy.  Then I saw all the people waving to me and cheering for me and ringing the bells.  I kept walking at my pace but inside I was running and jumping and even doing cartwheels.  It was a great feeling.

AFG: What inspired you most about the experience?

Sharon: I was most inspired knowing that I was walking not just for me but for others, like the girls and women who come to Alternatives For Girls.  I was inspired by other people in the race too like cancer survivors and people who are elderly.

Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment, Sharon!

Volunteer Opportunities at Alternatives For Girls

Jun. 2 2016 | Tags: , , , ,

More than 300 volunteers give over 20,000 hours of their time and talents to Alternatives For Girls each year!  The programs provided for girls and young women at AFG could not be done without volunteers. For more information on our current volunteer opportunities and how to become a volunteer at AFG, contact our Volunteer Services Manager, Jenny Clement, at 313-361-4000 ext. 248 or volunteering@alternativesforgirls.org.  

 

Resource Center Volunteer

AFG’s Resource Center manages a walk-in center and a 24/7 crisis line for those in the community that are in crisis or in need of services. Volunteers will serve as a listening ear and a conduit of information about resources inside and outside of AFG. Volunteers will answer the phone and assist any walk-ins seeking assistance. Shifts are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Evening shifts are preferred.

 

Mentor  

AFG’s Asset Building Project is a new program aimed at helping young women prepare financially, academically, and culturally for post-secondary education (read about it here in our Spring 2016 Newsletter). The program is in need of mentors to work with the middle school aged girls enrolled in the program. The mentor serves as a positive role model for their assigned mentee and will work to support, guide, and help her prepare for college. Mentors meet with their mentees a few times each month to engage in educational and recreational activities. Mentoring takes place during the evening or on the weekend. Spanish speaking mentors preferred. 

 

Rise N’ Shine Summer Camp Volunteers

AFG’s Rise N’ Shine summer camp is a free day camp for girls between the ages of 4-14 living in southwest Detroit. Rise N’ Shine provides fun and educational workshops, field trips, and more. Volunteer chaperones are needed to assist with Rise N’ Shine field trips with on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 beginning July 7th.