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August 23, 2011 by Diona Roberson
About the blogger: Diona Roberson has worked at Alternatives For Girls for several years. In her current position as Young Women Changing Communities Advisor, she works with young women in southwest Detroit on leadership training, community service, and getting more youth onto nonprofit boards of directors. Diona first became involved with AFG in 1990 as a part of AFG’s Prevention program.
Giggles, chatter, songs and smiles are bursting out of the seams of Alternatives For Girls, which can only mean one thing… Rise N Shine is underway. The summer day camp filled with arts, sports and educational fundamentals gives girls ages four to 12 a chance to have fun, make new friends and enjoy the summer with us.
During Rise N Shine we’re all about fun and games with a side of field trips! This summer we’ve consumed several wave pools, museums, and even a bowling alley, all while learning the value of sisterhood, the need for creativity and the importance of education. Rise N Shine has only gotten bigger and better since my days as a youth leader with the program, I enjoyed getting hugs each morning from lots of the over 60 girls who participated this year.
We’ve learned that Mother Nature can be relentless, be it sweltering heat or a torrential downpour and that planning ahead is never a bad Idea. We’ve learned to give ourselves a little more credit and believe that there is awesomeness inside all of us. Lastly we’ve learned that we can depend on each other and that it’s okay to need and ask for help.
During this summer we learned a lot about ourselves. Some of us grew up a little bit, while others got a chance to be a kid again. I learned that the compassion I have in my heart for our participants is limitless. And through it all we grew closer, wiser and stronger. The Prevention Department’s Rise N Shine summer camp is designed to give girls in southwest Detroit a chance at creating childhood memories and boy did it do just that!