Afterschool Program 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.





The High School Graduate with a 10-Year Plan

Jun. 29 2018 | Tags: , , ,
This month, high school seniors everywhere were counting the days until their graduation day. Graduating from high school is an important milestone for every young adult, but for some, the path to graduating is filled with obstacles, like homelessness or violence in their communities. Despite these challenges, with your support the young women at AFG get the help and resources they need to walk across the stage with their peers. For the 18th year in a row, 100% of the high school seniors in AFG’s Prevention Program did just that.


Eboni is one of these graduating seniors. She is just 18 years old but already has a 10-year plan. “I plan to study cosmetology so that I can get a job that will help me to earn money to pay for college. First, I will got to a local community college to study my prerequisites. Then, I plan to transfer to a university to study Psychology, get my master’s and doctorate. Finally, I will open my own private practice,” Eboni recites. She’s committed these goals to memory. A step by step plan for her future.


Bumps in the Road

Her road for the future didn’t always seem so clear. “There was a time in 10th grade when I wanted to drop out. Things were bad, and I felt like giving up,” Eboni recalls. A dedicated teacher convinced Eboni to stay in school, but her struggles did not end there. “My senior year was harder than I thought it would be. I picked up two jobs and it was overwhelming at times.”


“I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t found AFG.”

Eboni started coming to AFG’s After-School Program during her junior year. “I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t found AFG,” Eboni shares. “AFG has helped me on so many levels. From helping me improve my confidence, to helping my family when we needed extra support. AFG has been one of my biggest support systems these past two years.”


Looking Forward to the Future

Thanks to your support, Eboni is now a high school graduate with big plans for her future. Although she is looking forward to the next chapter, there are some parts of her high school experience that she will miss. “The thing I will miss most about high school is being around a group of people who have so much ambition,” Eboni says of her fellow classmates. “We’ve watched each other grow into who we are today.”

Although she will miss some aspects of high school, Eboni is looking forward to a lot, especially having a flexible schedule. “I am looking forward to having control over how I spend my day and organizing it how I want it to be instead of having to be in school for eight hours a day,” she shares.


You Help Girls & Young Women, Every Day

Year after year, girls like Eboni come to AFG, and get the support they need to stay focused on their education, graduate high school, and make plans for the future. AFG has added the “Asset Building Program for Education and Opportunity” focusing on middle school girls that provides, not just the opportunity to open a college savings account, but also access to additional specific supports, such as mentoring, in order to help prepare them for post-high school education academically, financially, and socially.  Your support makes this possible. Thank you for believing in the futures of girls and young women.

The Soul of Alternatives For Girls: Thanks to a grant and the help of local artists, the after-school program creates new mural to reflect the soul of AFG

May. 31 2018 | Tags: , ,

Photo taken by: Julianne Lindsey

This month, the girls in AFG’s After-School Program completed a new mural inside of AFG’s building with the help of local artists, Julianne Lindsey and Elton Monroy Duran. The mural was made possible by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Corpus Art Inc., Culture Source, and the NEA.

Over the course of a few months, Julianne and Elton worked with the girls to come up with an idea for the mural. During the process, the group visited other nearby murals, like the one at E&L Supermercado in southwest Detroit, to gather inspiration.

“We came up with the idea as a group, and we wanted to include the different cultures of girls all over the world,” shared Ahtziri, one of the young women who worked on the project. The mural is meant to represent the soul of AFG. The mural shows that at AFG, girls and young women learn and grow, and AFG helps to support them as they continue their journey in the world, sharing their dreams, culture, and experiences everywhere they go. Just as a dandelion spreads its seeds in the wind.

“Creating the idea for the mural was my favorite part of the project,” shares Jenny, another young woman who helped with the mural. “I liked how all of the different backgrounds we wanted to include were made into one.”

Once they settled on their idea, Julianne and Elton worked to put the girls’ vision to life, helping them choose a background, a color scheme, and outlines for the images. After Elton completed the majority of the mural’s background, the girls helped complete the mural by painting small images of girls floating down to earth. Each image was inspired by the culture, experiences, and role models of the girls who worked on the project. “My favorite part of the project was painting the mural,” Ahtziri recalls. “I liked being able to express my culture in the girl that I painted.”

Alternatives For Girls would like to thank Julianne Lindsey, Elton Monroy Duran, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Corpus Art Inc., Culture Source, and the NEA for this wonderful opportunity!

A Whole World of Opportunities: The after-school program helps girls be safe, healthy and make positive choices

May. 2 2018 | Tags: , ,

It’s a Tuesday evening and the girls in the after-school program are playing in AFG’s “backyard”. From yards away, squeals and laughter can be heard as the girls play tag and climb on the playscape.

After some time playing outside, the girls have dinner, receive homework help, and begin their nightly workshops.  On this particular night, the middle school group is learning painting techniques from a volunteer and creating beautiful paintings of colorful sunsets. The room is quiet and peaceful, as they calmly create their own unique work of art. Close by, the high school group is learning how to code with volunteers from Best Buy’s Geek Squad. The young women quickly race to complete a puzzle with different lines of code and celebrate when they complete it as a team. Their eyes are wide as the volunteers explain how they can create and customize their own website.

This is just a typical evening in AFG’s After-School Program. A place where girls and young women have the chance to discover a whole world of opportunities.

The program starts in October each year and runs until late May. Three nights per week, the girls arrive at AFG and are greeted with the smiling faces of their friends. After signing in and grabbing a snack, they sit down to work on their homework together, with the help of staff and volunteers. Before splitting into their proper age group, all of the girls and young women have the chance to eat dinner together and talk about the day’s highs and lows.

After breaking into the elementary, middle, and high school groups, the girls participate in workshops geared towards helping them be safe, healthy, and make positive choices in their lives. This year, the groups have explored topics ranging from preparing for college and learning about different careers to building positive self-esteem and communication skills.

The main goal is to keep each girl engaged in her education so she can graduate from high school and pursue higher education. This year, for the 18th year in a row, 100% of the high school seniors in the after-school program are graduating! Without you, none of this would be possible.

June Volunteer Spotlight: Marie Lowry

Jun. 8 2017 | Tags: , , ,

Each month, Alternatives For Girls’ Volunteer Department, highlights one volunteer who AFG staff recognize as being dedicated, passionate, and going above and beyond. This month we spotlight Marie Lowry, a volunteer in AFG’s Prevention Program!

Marie has been a longtime supporter of Alternatives For Girls and spent the past year volunteering as a tutor for the after-school program. In recent months, she has gone above and beyond by leading a project to improve the library at AFG.

When speaking with Marie, she explained that her proudest moment as a volunteer came when she consistently tutored a young girl in the after-school program. The girl was struggling with her handwriting, which was affecting her ability to complete her homework. After a few weeks of practice, not only did the participant’s handwriting improve but so did her academic performance and confidence with her school work!

Marie takes pleasure in being part of an organization that focuses on girls and women and especially enjoys working with the younger girls of the Prevention Department. One of Marie’s strengths is her enthusiasm, which also makes her an excellent volunteer. Marie’s enthusiasm for tutoring each week demonstrates to the girls and young women in the program that she cares about them and values her time with them. Marie also spreads her passion within her own community, as she frequently shares opportunities with members of her church to support AFG and become more involved.

Thank you, Marie, for continuing to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women.

Interested in volunteering? Please contact Jenny Clement, Volunteer Services Manager, at 313-361-4000 x248 or to discuss the next steps to becoming a volunteer at Alternatives For Girls!

A Graduation Story: One of AFG’s high school graduates shares her struggles and triumphs

May. 31 2017 | Tags: , ,

This spring, high school seniors everywhere will be counting the days until their graduation day. Graduating from high school is an important milestone for every young adult, but for some, the path to graduating is filled with obstacles, like homelessness or violence in their communities.

Despite these challenges, young women in AFG’s programs get the help and resources they need to walk across the stage with their peers. We are happy to report that for the 17h year in a row, 100% of the high school seniors in our Prevention Program will be doing just that! Below is a story of a young woman preparing for her next chapter, as a college freshmen.

Making the Grade

Meet Anayeli. Anayeli is 18 years old and has been a participant in AFG’s After-school Program for the past four years. “Freshmen and sophomore years were easy. Junior year and senior year were stressful! I felt like I needed a week and a half just to do my nightly homework,” Anayeli recalls.

When she needed help with her homework, Anayeli knew just where to turn. “The homework help and all of the staff and volunteers that helped, made a big difference. Right now I have a low grade in English, but I’m working on getting it to an A or B for my last report card.”

Looking Forward to the Future

AFG has also helped Anayeli decide which college to go to. “Coming to AFG helped me decide to go to college and see which ones I wanted to go to. We took field trips to visit colleges. I applied to two of those places and got accepted to one of them!”

Now that she’s almost done with high school, Anayeli says she will miss hanging out with her friends every day. But, she is looking forward to the flexibility that college will bring to her daily schedule, “I’m looking forward to not being at the same school for 8 hours a day. In college, you get more breaks!” she smiles. After she graduates next month, Anayeli plans to attend college in the fall and begin a pre-nursing program so she can become a nurse one day.

Trick-Or-Treat: The Prevention Department hosts festive Halloween party at Alternatives For Girls

Nov. 1 2016 | Tags: , , ,

On October 27th Alternatives For Girls’ halls were filled with ghouls and goblins for the Prevention Department’s annual Halloween party! The halls were decorated with spider webs, pumpkins, and ghosts and classic Halloween tunes were played to set the mood.  The after-school program’s high school group helped decorate and even created a haunted house!

The exciting evening included face painting, mask decorating, trick-or-treating throughout AFG, a haunted house, a mummy wrapping contest, and more!

The trick-or-treat trail was full of surprises. Throughout the trek, the trick-or-treaters walked through spooky halls, climbed under spider webs, and braved the haunted house! At the end, there were some fun games to get extra treats. One of those games was a punch board, created by the high school group, where the girls had to punch through the paper to get a surprise toy or candy!

The girls munched on spooky cupcakes and marshmallow eyeballs and counted how many pieces of their favorite candy they got. At the end of the night, all of the girls left with smiles on their faces, recounting the nights’ fun.

Alternatives For Girls would like to thank everyone who donated candy, toys, and snacks for the trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween!

After-school Program Finale: AFG’s Prevention Department celebrates a year of learning, growing, and making positive choices

Jul. 6 2016 | Tags: ,

This month, the AFG After-school Program held its annual year end finale. Held at AFG, the event was for the family and friends of the girls in the program. The evening included dance performances, handmade ice cream from the elementary group, awards for the parents, and a celebration of the girls’ achievements throughout the year.

AFG’s After-school Program aims to keep girls engaged in school by supporting their academic success through a variety of workshops. The program provides homework help, educational workshops, and leadership development. It also offers chances for girls to express their creativity through activities they may not otherwise have the chance to participate in, such as dance classes, arts & crafts projects and more.

Learning to Grow

For four months, the middle school group studied Mexican Folklórico dance with America Del Real, of The Raiz Up hip-hop and cultural collective. To prepare for their finale performance, the young women dressed in traditional clothing and got their hair and makeup done by two volunteers. They performed two dances, “Las Chiapanecas” and “El Aguila Blanca”. After each dance, the girls were met with a standing ovation and praises from the crowd.

The high school group performed an original dance routine they choreographed with Sarah Guilmette, Artistic Director of Full Circle Dance Company. Although the interpretive dance was new to Sarah, the group worked together to create a beautiful and moving performance.

The elementary group used their science and business skills to help give back to the community. The group set up a station where they sold homemade ice cream sundaes. The money raised will be used to complete a Hashtag Lunchbag project, where the girls will make bagged lunches with inspirational messages and pass them out to those experiencing homelessness in the community. The girls hand shook each batch of ice cream, filled them to the brim with toppings, and served each sundae with a huge smile!

Celebrating Accomplishments

During the awards presentation, two parents were given special awards to honor them for their volunteerism and assistance with programming. The two mothers were presented with flowers and were thanked by staff and girls in the programs through a big round of applause. Finally, the girls and young women received their own awards, to recognize them for their hard work and growth throughout the year. Each girl received their certificate with pride. Whether it was improving their grades, making a new friend, or learning something new; they all had something to be proud of this year.

We’re Going to Guatemala: Six girls from AFG’s Adventure Club are taking a one week trip to Guatemala

Jun. 2 2016 | Tags: , , ,

Thanks to the support of AFG’s generous donors, including the Born and Raised Detroit Foundation, six girls from AFG’s Adventure Club are traveling to Guatemala this June! The Adventure Club allows young women in AFG’s Prevention programs to have experiences in nature, which aren’t typically available to them in their urban neighborhoods. In the past, Adventure Club trips have included rustic camping, skiing, and a trip to Costa Rica.

Preparing for the Trip of a Lifetime

The girls, all between the ages of 11-14, were chosen because of their improved or high GPAs. Four girls had 4.0 GPAs and two had improved their GPAs by 1.0 or more! “When I found out I was going on the trip, I was excited! I haven’t been to Guatemala and I’ll get to see new stuff that is different than in the US,” Stephanie, one of the girls taking the trip, shares.

This month, the girls and their parents started working with AFG staff to begin preparing for the trip. During their meetings, the group talked about travel vaccinations, etiquette abroad, their itinerary, and more. While on the trip, the young women will enjoy local cuisine, shop at nearby markets, visit Mayan ruins, engage in local volunteer projects, go hiking, swimming, and so much more! “I am looking forward to getting to know the different cultures and the landscapes,” Luzelena dreams.

A Whole New World

Through this experience the girls will experience many new things. Four of the young women have never been on an airplane before!  The goal of the trip is for them to return with a love for learning, a passion for giving, and the confidence needed to live outside of their comfort zones. To follow the girls on their journey, make sure to follow Alternatives For Girls on Facebook and Twitter and to sign up for our e-newsletter!

Graduation Stories: AFG’s high school graduates share their struggles and triumphs

Jun. 2 2016 | Tags: , , ,

This spring, high school seniors everywhere will be counting the days until their graduation day. Graduating from high school is an important milestone for every young adult, but for some, the path to graduating is filled with obstacles, like homelessness, violence in their communities, or even exploitation.

Despite these challenges, young women in AFG’s programs get the help and resources they need to walk across the stage with their peers. Last month, you met Tarra, a young woman determined to succeed. Below is our second graduation story which highlights a young woman with big plans for her future.

A Lifetime of Support

Meet April. April is 18 years old and has been a participant in AFG’s Prevention Department for the past 12 years! During her time in AFG’s programs, April received educational support in the After-School Program, had fun learning how to dance, garden, and more in the Rise N’ Shine summer camp, and found her voice in Young Women Changing Communities (YWCC), a youth leadership program. “YWCC helped me break out of my shell and feel confident about using my voice through becoming a group facilitator,” April explains.

Ready for the Future

April also credits AFG for helping her stay focused on her education and her plans for the future. “AFG has helped me solidify what career path I’ll choose by connecting me with an OB/GYN job shadow opportunity,” April reflects. April has been accepted to her top four college choices and hopes to attend University of Michigan this fall. “I plan to major in Cellular and Molecular Biology, with the intentions of becoming an OB/GYN,” she shares.  And with the support of AFG, April is now prepared to be whatever she puts her mind to.

Matrix Theatre Company Teaches Workshop to Girls at AFG

Dec. 2 2015 | Tags: ,

“I loved performing and showing off our ideas to the audience,” Guadalupe smiles. Since the beginning of our Prevention Department’s After-school Program (ASP) in October, the elementary, middle, and high school groups have been participating in on-site workshops with the Matrix Theatre Company. Also located in southwest Detroit, the Matrix Theatre Company teaches, creates, and shares theatre as an instrument of transformation. The Matrix School of Theatre offers workshops for youth between the ages of 5-18 in play writing, puppetry, and performance. The workshops allow a safe space for youth to voice their opinions, tell their story, create their own solutions and empower them by allowing the youth to express themselves by using their own words, self-confidence, and imagination.

For a month leading up to the performances, Matrix worked with each ASP group to create their own original performance and provide them with an introduction to acting and play writing concepts. During the workshops, Matrix started by talking with the girls about the issues that they are currently dealing with and then built the story or performance from there. “My favorite part was writing our performance because everyone’s ideas were crazy and I like them,” Guadalupe, who performed with the middle school group, shared. “Everyone just called out their ideas and then we voted on whose we liked the best,” she continued. From these discussions, the groups came up with performances on the topics of bullying, making positive choices, and self-empowerment.

After they wrote their acts, the girls then learned acting and theatrical concepts that would help them perform their pieces. “We learned to always be dramatic, to never turn our backs to the audience, how to walk on stage, and so many other things!” Jamiah, another middle school group participant, shared. “And we learned about the four brothers of movement, the different parts of the stage, and how to move on the stage,” Guadalupe added.

Once the performances were written and the girls had practiced their new skills, it was show time! On November 19th, all three groups performed their original performances for their family and friends right here at AFG. “My favorite part was performing,” Jamiah shared, smiling. “I helped make up the dance we did to “Thriller” and it was really fun.” The middle school group’s performance included a lot of improvisation and an interactive story line that allowed the audience to join in on the fun!

Not to be outdone, the elementary group added Spanish to their performance on the topic of bullying to help the girls and audience members who are bilingual feel more comfortable. Lastly, the high school group put on a moving performance about self-empowerment filled will positive affirmations. “I affirm that I am beautiful” and “I will be proud of who I am and where I am now” were just a few highlights from their performance.

With smiles on their faces, each girl took a bow and then rushed to talk to their parents, siblings, and friends about their performance. Their enthusiasm and joy told the story of their new love for theater.

Alternatives For Girls would like to thank the Matrix Theatre company for their time and support while teaching their workshop!