Students in the Detroit Food Academy‘s afterschool culinary program are learning cooking skills and self-development through food and entrepreneurship. High schoolers enrolled in the program recently had the opportunity to cook alongside Detroit Lions football players like defensive tackle Akeem Spence in a cooking competition. The competition, “Eat Up or Cook Up,” awarded winners a $1,500 scholarship from Baker College, a Detroit Lions gift bag, and game tickets as a prize. “These kids, they can definitely cook, especially at the age group they are,” Spence told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s amazing to see their creativity come to life and they are doing what they love to do.”
Three recent University of Pennsylvania graduates began an afterschool program called Lanzando Líderes, or “Launching Leaders,” to promote leadership and academic excellence in for high schoolers from immigrant or first-generation, low-income families. The program pairs high school students with mentors and tutors from the university and puts on academic and leadership workshops. “In my life I never really felt like I had someone to guide me. I got lucky and got placed into the hands of awesome teachers. But that was all luck. I sort of feel like I owe it to people in my sort of situation to help them reach their full potential,” tutor Enoch Solano-Sanchez told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Lauren Markham, author and Oakland International High School employee, explains how afterschool programs help keep immigrant youths out of gangs: “Newly arrived immigrants are a fast-growing demographic in American schools…. Yet the Trump administration is pushing for cuts that will affect their ability to succeed in school, or even attend school at all. The proposed 2018 education budget includes… an evisceration of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers…. If 21st Century funds go away, these programs vanish. Which means the students will find somewhere else to take them in. [Notorious gang] MS-13, as it happens, welcomes young people with open arms.”
The STEPS afterschool program teaches American Sign Language to hearing students from kindergarten through eighth grade learn through music. The program is run by Kei-Che Randle, a site coordinator and camp director at the Family YMCA of Black Hawk County. “It was just the most beautiful program,” YMCA chief executive officer Angie Widner told The Courier. “Not only had they learned sign language, they had learned to present themselves with confidence on stage; they had such a presence on stage.” Randle’s goal for STEPS is to create a stronger connection between the Waterloo hearing and deaf communities.