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September Newsletter

DTMAC participants are getting ready to head back to school. It won’t be long until the weather begins to get chillier and the leaves begin to turn bright, fall colors.

H.O.P.E. Summer program was a HUGE success.

Here are some highlights:

  • “This summer was good because not only did I have fun, but I also became more prepared for school” student in the class of 2018
  • “Shakespeare week was a lot of fun. Reading, discussing, and watching the movie then reinacting the final scene between MacBeth and McDuff, with the Ring of Steel, really helped me to understand the play.” class of 2018

Read more here!

Teen-Run Activity Planning (T.R.A.P.) Continues Saturdays

Our teen activity planning program, known as T.R.A.P., will continue into this fall. Sessions will be on Saturdays beginning September 19, from 12-2 pm.

This past summer, youth organized a number of events for their community, including a Glow in the Dark Teen Party. Read about it here: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/08/dedicated_to_change_holds_teen.html#incart_related_stories

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Ethics Bowl Practice

Every Monday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 starting September 21st, Dedicated to Make a Change participants will prepare for the 2016 Ethics Bowl.

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DTMAC Youth represent Ypsi Community High in the 2015 Ethics Bowl

Prevent and Prevail is Back!

DTMAC is hosting our teen-run HIV/AIDS and sex education program, Prevent and Prevail, at the Jim Toy Community Center in Braun Court in Ann Arbor near Kerrytown. Wednesday evenings sessions begin September 23rd through November 11th from 6 to 8 pm.

Youth oin us in an open discussion of sex, identity, STD prevention, and more.

Prevent and Prevail Fall 2015

August Newsletter

The H.O.P.E. summer program is in full swing! Every morning we read for two hours, and then plan activities for community youth.
About the literacy program, Jasmon, a YCS student, said, “in the beginning of the program, I didn’t like to read very much and two hours was a long time, but now I like to read and two hours is nothing. It’s much easier now.” Click here to see more of our August 2015 newsletter!

July Newsletter

Our school year finished very well. We had a party at the end of June to say goodbye to Megan and DJ, who are starting college soon, and to celebrate the work of all of the H.O.P.E. participants. Yesterday, we went to the DIA to see the pictures and mural of the great artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Frida once said, “at the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” Click to see the rest of our July 2015 newsletter!

June Newsletter

Newsletter June 2015

Indiegogo Campaign

We have started a new Indiegogo campaign to help fund Prevent and Prevail. Please check it out and share it with others!! http://igg.me/at/prevent-and-prevail/x/10401028

Creating Safer Spaces

Being Out and Supporting Transexual, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Questioning, and Allied Youth programs available.

Creating a Service Learning Program that will Engage Youth In Community Justice.
Curriculum for After School Programs that Promote Learning and Confidence

For scheduling and prices call or email.

Link

Earn $60 with Prevent & Prevail WHO: Prevent & Prevail is for people between 11 and 18 years WHAT: Prevent & Prevail hosts open discussions of sex, empowerment, identity, STIs and HIV with a focus on well-rounded knowledge about HIV prevention. WHERE: Meetings are held at the Dedicated to Make a Change Clubhouse. 104 South Huron Street. Ypsilanti gail@dedicatedtomakeachange.com for information WHEN: January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11 from 6:15-8:15 P.M. WHY: Two Reasons. Prevent & Prevail was created, by youth for peers, to give accurate information to address the statistic that youth between 12-23 are at the highest risk of HIV infection in Washtenaw County. Everyone needs money. Earn $60.00. Participants are paid $5/hour to attend Prevent & Prevail sessions. Pay will be received for each session at the end of that session. There is an additional $10 bonus available at the end of the program for participants who attend all six sessions.

Experience with Prevent and Prevail

During these sessions at prevent and prevail I have learned a lot of new things. We talked about safe sex,what causes pregnancy , how to avoid it, the different forms of birth control , just things that we were not learning in school. There was people from ages 19 and under in the room besides the facilitators. Nobody in the room was judging each other we were all very anxious to see what one another had to say. The things we talked about was confidential, and you did not have to speak about anything personal. While we were doing this program for two hours a day, we got 10 dollars at the end , if you behaved well. We all were able to be together in a room as random teens who wants to know about how to be safe. It actually made a big impact on myself joining this program and I’m glad did. Now I know how to protect myself at all times, and make smart decisions.

Our Clubhouse

our-clubhouse

Come on by, Sit a few, Share a cookie, See our Clubhouse.
104 South Huron Ave
Ypsilanti 48197

Define Your Own Terms

The first need of the people is to define there own terms.

When i was born i was considered black , When i die i will be black.

When I was little i was considered a little girl , when I grown up i will be a Woman.

When my mom named me, my name was Kwaylin,When people ask my name i Say Kwaylin , Why because i define my own terms. People do not know whom i am. But are very quick to comment on the word Kwaylin . To me Kwaylin is a black girl, who will soon turn into a woman,she is beautiful,intelligent,outgoing,and a christian with big dreams. I refuse to have somebody else define who I am, beacause at the end of the day only God can judge who i am.

Hope Scholarship Program and Me

HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND ME

Posted on November 26, 2013

I have been a part of the hope scholarship program for a month now and it is really an awesome project. Most kids can’t really find something to do, that’s legal, makes money, something to do after school, that’s fun or helping them out in their lives. Being in high school in Ypsilanti there is not enough support out here for the teens , that want to make money and get educated. Working with the Hope Scholar Ship program makes earning money and getting educated possible. Continue reading

PREVENT & PREVAIL, SESSION #2

The second session of Prevent & Prevail brought new participants, new strategies and new knowledge to our groups. Our facilitators met on Monday to review and practice their lesson plans before returning on Wednesday to teach.

After dividing into groups, the facilitators reviewed the rules and conduct agreements created the previous week before going into more in-depth discussions of sexuality, gender, contraception and reproductive health. Icebreakers, interactive games, conversations and laughter helped foster group connection and encourage participants to ask questions.

Tomorrow is Session #3, where we’ll be talking about bullying, relationships, relational power dynamics, and consent. We’re more convinced than ever of the need for the knowledge and space provided by Prevent & Prevail, and we look forward to telling you how it goes.

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU

Thank you to everyone who voted for Dedicated to Make a Change. The Chase small business wanted 250 votes; we had 241. Just missed the 11:59 deadline.

We are honored you voted for us. Please continue to follow the change everyday youth do to create a world filled with learning, safety, hope, and kindness. And if you, like Chase Bank, happen to have $250,000 and want to review our application, please let us know! :)

PREVENT & PREVAIL, SESSION #1

Last night, DTMAC hosted the first official session of Prevent & Prevail, our comprehensive, peer-facilitated HIV/AIDS prevention program. After weeks of preparation and practice, and an introductory meeting for participants, we were finally ready to begin. Our teen facilitators came in with a lot of energy and excitement, a little bit of nerves, and the support of the chaperones and of Gail and Jorge.

After introducing everyone, we divided our group of participants by age and hosted discussion sessions to go over our grounding vocabulary – the words and terms we use to talk about HIV and other STIs along with gender, sex, sexuality and identity. The facilitators also worked with participants to develop their own set of ground rules and create a group agreement to maintain a conversational space that feels safe, open and healthy. Having the freedom to develop and contribute to that agreement helps participants to own their own space and encourages them to hold themselves and their peers accountable for sustaining a respectful and compassionate environment.

The session went really well! The participants were all able to articulate the new knowledge they were walking away with, and a lot of healthy first steps were taken towards creating the kind of rapport between facilitators and participants that is going to make Prevent & Prevail successful. Facilitators and chaperones met after the session with Gail and Jorge to reflect and plan for next week. We’re excited to dive deeper into all our topics, and we look forward to keeping you updated.

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

LATE NIGHT SHIVERS

I saw a small light in the parking lot. It was a very dark night. It was raining and I started to hear chanting, of strange words. All of a sudden I saw Zar’Reia she was holding a light. She was very scared because she had just got off work. Nobody was around so she thought she was fine, all of a sudden she started to hear quiet voices. Zar’Reia stopped and took a deep breath, and panicked. Whose there she asked? It was silent, so without hesitation she took off running.  She ran all the way until she got home, she went home sighed and jumped right in her bed and went to sleep.

When I heard the loud chanting, stopped paused and noticed that Zar’Reia was gone . I cried and said please don’t hurt me , show yourself . A tall white guy, he was trying to rob me, I said what do you want? He said your purse, i said okay follow me, he followed me. As soon as he started walking behind me, I ran back to Zar’Reia’s house climbed in the window and went right to bed.

Kwaylin Coats

LATE NIGHT SHIVERS

I saw a small light in the parking lot. It was a very dark night. It was raining and I started to hear chanting, of strange words. All of a sudden I saw Zar’Reia she was holding a light. She was very scared because she had just got off work. Nobody was around so she thought she was fine, all of a sudden she started to hear quiet voices. Zar’Reia stopped and took a deep breath, and panicked. Whose there she asked? It was silent, so without hesitation she took off running.  She ran all the way until she got home, she went home sighed and jumped right in her bed and went to sleep.

When I heard the loud chanting, stopped paused and noticed that Zar’Reia was gone . I cried and said please don’t hurt me , show yourself . A tall white guy, he was trying to rob me, I said what do you want? He said your purse, i said okay follow me, he followed me. As soon as he started walking behind me, I ran back to Zar’Reia’s house climbed in the window and went right to bed.

Kwaylin Coats

 

HOPE SCHOLARSHIP IS GOOD FOR ME…

Being in HOPE scholarship is good for me because I can learn things that I never new before. Hope scholarship helps me and not get in trouble. I am learning how to be smarter with my money and save. Also I can be a kid and a young adult at the same time. These are the reasons i enjoy and the things I learned from being here.

Hope scholarship helps me stay busy and not get in trouble. When I say that I mean by coming here I cannot be out on the streets doing what I am not supposed to. I have a place to be when I get angry and/or whatever instead of being on the streets. Also keeping myself entertained on the side. This kind of might not explain what I learned but honestly I have learned a lot because its teaching me to be a young individual that is responsible for my actions instead of a young individual who doesn’t own up to them.

Lastly I am learning how to be smart with money and save. When i have money I usually always spend it and never have any left but now it’s to the point where i still have money because I save. By putting money in the bank I don’t always want to spend, spend, spend like some people say out of site out of mind. It’s better for me to put up money for up coming events so i don’t have to ask my mom. I am so very glad and happy to be in the hope scholarship because if I wasn’t I don’t think I would have managed any of this.

ZarReia Brand

KWAYLIN COATS

Hello, My name is Kwaylin Coats and I am a freshman at Ypsilanti Community High school. Im The Oldest out of all my siblings. Im currently staying with my mom & two little brothers . My favorites are and movies , Hanging out with my friends “fab four”. I am a singer,dancer , and do part time modeling for John Casablancas Modeling Agency.

I have a job, I am apart of the Hope Scholarship program. I first started off by coming once in the summer with a friend of mine, Zar-Reia, to an Dedicated To Make A Change event. On my first day I came just to check everything out and to see if I liked it. Everybody here was just really kind and friendly to me, I felt welcomed. Now were back in school and working with the Hope Scholarship Program. Everyday after school, I come to the Clubhouse to work. We do lots of fun things here, but I’m also learning while having fun and getting paid . I’m really glad to have met Gail, she is helping me out a lot with learning how to be a successful young lady.

 

K- karate was a big part of my life when I was younger

W- when i was grow up i want to be successful

A-Attitude is a huge thing I have to work on

Y- yellow is a color that best fits me

L- love is my most strongest trait

I- Intelligent girls , are always the best ones

N- Not Trying , is always the worst mistake .

Kwaylin-Coats

A picture of Kwaylin to accompany her introduction

MY EXPERIENCE SUNDAY AT PREJUDICE TO PRIDE

My experience, at Prejudice to Pride struggles for Equality and how the LGBT community is affected by bullying, homelessness, and the legal system, was I learned things I did not know.  I had a good time. The day  wasn’t boring but at the same time it wasn’t super exciting. Being there taught me somethings but not much because I already knew most of what was being talked about. The topics where: Bullying, and that subject was talked about by Gail Wolkoff and Jim Toy. They talked about how bullying is bad. She shared it is the adults responsibility to protect youth.  I think bullying is bullying, cyber bullying included, is awful.

The second topic was homeless. Heather Steenrod talked about the work of the Ozone House and how they protect kids. She also talked about LGBTQ kids and the percentages of them with no home. I’ve been to the Ozone House in Ypsilanti and it was a good safe place to be.

Lastly, Bethany and Scott T. Jason talked to us about legal rights. Bethany talked to us about health rights and Scott talked to us about taxes.  I was falling asleep because what they were saying did not have anything to do with me.

The best part of the day was the cookies! I got to bring a plate of cookies and fruit home with me.

Zar-Reia Brand

PREVENT & PREVAIL TRAINING #3

Prevent & Prevail had a pretty information-dense session this week. Our trainers brought in all their expertise and our facilitators took in a lot of new knowledge along with a more in-depth understanding of information they were already familiar with.

First, Chloe presented information about birth control methods. We compared the different characteristics of different categories and kinds of birth control and talked about the strategic, economic and cultural factors that go into deciding which kinds of birth control will work for a particular person or couple. She also provided information about abortion, including research and statistics that helped create a better understanding of how those same factors influence decisions about abortion too. Over the course of both presentations, she made sure facilitators were also learning about skills for facilitating conversations about controversial topics and making everyone in the room feel heard and respected.

After Chloe, Jorge talked about STIs, STDs and HIV. He created a chart demonstrating known and possible risks for several of the most common STIs and how they can be contracted, then went into detail about the ways someone can (and cannot) contract HIV, and what the current medical picture for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV looks like. He led what can be an uncomfortable discussion with compassion and humor, and showed how charts like the one he used can help clarify information when there’s a lot to get through and a lot to take in.

Every week our facilitators become better-prepared to lead the discussions ahead for Prevent & Prevail. This coming Monday is our final training session before the official sessions start. Tune back in soon to hear about it, and get ready for the start of one of the programs we’re most excited about!

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

DTMAC BIO: ALLISON MELCHER

allison

Meet Allison Melcher! Allison is the 17-year-old dynamo behind most of the blog posts here. She’s also a facilitator for Prevent & Prevail, and does a variety of other jobs for DTMAC depending on the week, the day and the hour. She’s been part of DTMAC for a long time, and attended two of the NOLA service trips. She attends Eastern Michigan University as part of the Early College Alliance. She’s also worked on a farm and at a library, and there’s really nothing she can’t handle.

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

DTMAC BIO: CHLOÉ GURIN-SANDS

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Chloé Gurin-Sands has been coming in as a trainer for Prevent & Prevail and is a longtime friend and helper with DTMAC. She works at the University of Michigan’s Spectrum Center in support of the university’s TBLGQ community and lives her life as an all-around social justice advocate. She graduated from University of Michigan in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, Gender & Health, and Latino/a Studies.

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

DTMAC BIO: FIONA CHAMNESS

Fiona

Hello DTMAC friends! In the coming weeks we’ll be adding more bios for other DTMAC staff members and affiliates, but I’ll start by introducing myself: I’m Fiona. I’ve been working for DTMAC since July. I create and edit much of our administrative writing and promotional material, including some (but not all) of these blog posts. I also assisted with HOPE Summer Program, am currently among the trainers for Prevent & Prevail, and assist with other tasks as they come up. I’ve lived in Ann Arbor most of my life, and I’ve returned to the city after graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio this past spring. I’m also a writer, poet, songwriter, nanny and bookworm, and I bake a mean loaf of bread. I love my work with DTMAC and I’m so happy to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more bios along with further updates about Prevent & Prevail!

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

ROCK THE BLOCK

This past Saturday, September 14th, the Corner Health Center hosted its third annual block party in Ypsilanti. Dedicated to Make a Change had a table at the event along with the Ozone House, the Ypsilanti library, We Got Your Back, and the sheriff’s department. There was also music, food, airbrush tattoos, a photo booth, and games: all for free. Rock the Block was a fun way to get to know what organizations exist for youth in Ypsilanti.  Last year Dedicated to Make a Change worked with the Corner Health Center to provide peer to peer AIDS information sessions and we continue to work with the Corner Health Center as a way to become more involved with Ypsilanti.

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.

AN INVITATION FROM DEDICATION TO MAKE A CHANGE TO YOU

All youth, ages 13-18,

are invited to join Dedicated to Make a Change, L3C on our 8th Service Experience to New Orleans,  

April 6 – 13 or April 26 – May 6, 2014

The Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans was one of the hardest hit communities, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm displaced almost all of its residents. To this day, the community still has not been rebuilt and residents are still not in their homes. Our goal is simple; to change the hopeless attitude in the community to hopefulness.

For more information contact Gail by text or phone: 734 218 2953 or gail@dedicatedtomakeachange.com

To earn and receive the most financial help, sign up by November 15, 2013.

Amtrak1

Amtrak2

 

 

 

PREVENT & PREVAIL, TRAINING #2

The second Prevent & Prevail training dove straight in to work on some of the most important skills our facilitators will be using during the Prevent & Prevail sessions. Learning to effectively facilitate group discussions is an involved process, and the youth facilitators at DTMAC care about doing it right. This week, they heard from Jim Toy, longtime activist, facilitator and leader in the Ann Arbor TBLGQ community.

Jim talked about the CLARA method of successful facilitation: Center, Listen, Affirm, Respond. He also led a discussion about what makes a good discussion and what makes a good facilitator – what questions to ask, how to manage group dynamics, how to handle difficult moments and controversial topics – based in his decades of experience hosting hard conversations about gender and sexuality.

After Jim spoke, Gail provided some crucial information about the ways in which participants’ past and present experiences of abuse, assault and other violence can affect the dynamic of any conversation about sexuality and sexual education, and shared strategies for supporting participants and creating a safer space for discussion.

Fiona then went on to hold a discussion about expressions of sexuality geared toward providing a broad, inclusive, affirming atmosphere in which participants can ask questions. She also gave some context on self-education among youth on sexual topics – where most young people are getting their information, what guidance they are and are not receiving, and what support they’re most likely to need in sorting through the information they find independently.

Next week, Gail and Chloe Gurin-Sands will go over important information about STDs, HIV prevention and sexual health. The further we get into our training sessions, the more our youth facilitators feel confident and well-prepared to serve as a resource for their peers. Keep checking in to hear what happens next!

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility. 

PREVENT & PREVAIL, TRAINING #1

On Monday night, our youth facilitators had their first training session for Prevent & Prevail. For the next three Mondays, they’ll be meeting to talk, train and prepare for this fall’s Prevent & Prevail sessions. At Prevent & Prevail, they’ll be hosting discussions for other youth about HIV prevention and related topics, providing a safe and informed space for young people to get the resources they need to help curb the spread of HIV among adolescents and young adults.

The first training was full of laughs, good questions and moving testimony. Jorge Guzman began the training with a history lesson on the beginnings of HIV and the AIDS crisis, through the lens of his own work in the 1980s and 1990s with AIDS activist organizations in San Francisco. He spoke of the grassroots effort it took to support the first generation affected by the disease, of the difficulty of finding any support or help at all and the ways the community rallied when government and the medical establishment left sufferers behind. The work he and his friends and colleagues did in those days is nothing short of extraordinary, and it provided both context and inspiration to the work we hope to accomplish at Prevent & Prevail.

P&P1
Next, Fiona Chamness and Jennifer Pan gave a short presentation on the idea of the spectrum as it relates to sexuality and gender identity, and all the different ways we have of conceptualizing orientation, gender and attraction. The more you think about it, the more complicated it becomes, and the youth facilitators asked smart, challenging questions that helped further understanding and push the conversation forward. These are some of the hardest questions for youth to find informed, compassionate spaces to bring up, and we look forward to the discussions the facilitators will be able to host about them during Prevent & Prevail.

P&P2
Next week, we’ll be hearing from Jim Toy, one of the foremost TGLB activists in the Ann Arbor area, and talking about relationships and communication. We can’t wait to let you know what happens, and we can’t wait to see how Prevent & Prevail grows and expands this year. Talk to you soon!

Dedicated to Make a Change’s mission is to connect youth with the world to promote peace, greater understanding and a love of learning. We provide an experiential learning environment to learn justice, diversity, poverty, and social responsibility.