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On August 15th, AFG’s Rise N’ Shine summer camp came to an end. Rise N’ Shine is a free six-week summer camp that gives girls living in southwest Detroit a safe space to learn new things, improve their reading skills, and make friends. For three days each week, the campers spend the day participating in fun, educational workshops and field trips. This summer, workshops included: gardening, dancing, science, and more.
The 50 campers celebrated their memorable summer with a fun end of summer finale. The finale allows the camper’s families to see what they’ve learned and created throughout the summer. Throughout the room where the celebration was held, the campers displayed the artwork they created and the science projects they completed.
Once everyone settled in, the campers began by reciting their daily Rise N’ Shine pledge. “With AFG, I rise and shine,” they began, all 50 campers in unison. “I am a friend, I support and trust. Working together is a must!” they continued. Their voices getting louder as they reach the end, “When I think of giving up, AFG comes to mind. They lift me up to rise and shine!”
The celebration began with a performance from the Red Group, which included campers 10 to 11 years old. The girls performed an energetic dance they learned during the African dance workshop with Heritage Works. Their hard work and practice paid off once they were able to perform their masterpiece for friends and family. Judging by the applause, the audience thoroughly enjoyed their performance!
Some campers also recited poems they wrote during the camp. One camper recited the following poem about self-esteem and confidence:
I look in the mirror and what do I see?
I see me, no one else can be
I am precious, I am glad to be me
My hair, my face, my personality
My size, my skin, the color of my skin
All make up me, I am proud to be in
Before the end, the campers took to the microphone to share what they want to be when they grow up. “My name is Samiyah. I am strong, and when I grow up I want to be a doctor,” one camper shared, with confidence. The others followed, sharing their dreams. From becoming a zoo keeper to an engineer, a fashion designer to a child psychologist, and everything in between. The crown applauded and cheered as each camper shared their future goals.
Finally, yearbooks were distributed. In the end, there were a lot of smiles and hugs as the girls signed each other’s yearbooks and waved goodbye for now.
Alternatives For Girls would like to thank all of the volunteers and donors who supported Rise N’ Shine this summer. Thank you for making it a summer the girls will never forget!