Category Archives: News

These are our latest news letter

Prevent and Prevail Facilitator Training – January/February 2017

Prevent and Prevail is looking for teen facilitators to co-lead our sessions, teaching peers about important topics and how to protect themselves.

These are youth ages 15-18 who want to build their leadership skills, make money, and give knowledge to younger peers.

Potential facilitators should attend our 6-week training. The training will be 2 hours/week on January 21st, 28th, February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 12-3pm at the Clubhouse, 104 S. Huron, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Teens will be paid per hour.

Prevent & Prevail is a program created by youth between the ages of 13 and 16 after learning that the HIV infection rate is highest in the 13-23 age group. The goal of Prevent & Prevail is to have open discussions in a safe, confidential, fun, and all inclusive environment. Teen facilitators receive over 20 hours of training before leading a series of information sessions and discussions for their peers. Some of the topics of discussion include: sex, HIV and other STIs and STDs, relationships and intimacy, respect and consent, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and drugs. Teens learn how to keep themselves safe by practicing ways to prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs and STDs in Washtenaw County, as well as how to prevent teen pregnancy and protect themselves within relationships. They also learn more about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, which not only gives TLGBQQ (transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning) youth information that is important to their lives, but also promotes acceptance and reduces teen-to-teen harassment and bullying due to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Youth who are interested in facilitating Prevent and Prevail should attend our 6-week training. You will learn accurate information about relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality, as well as how to lead icebreakers, group discussions, and activities. Interested youth should contact Gail at or call 734-358-1402

Night to Learn about YCS School Board Candidates

Night to Learn about YCS School Board Candidates-4-page-001

UPDATE 10/25/16: We have received Steve Gray’s responses to some of the questions. See them here.
UPDATE 10/21/16: Scroll down for the audio of the event!
UPDATE 10/14/16: All questions have been posted for community members to read and for candidates to respond if desired. Scroll down to see them.

October 13 from 7-9pm, incumbents Meredith Schindler and Sharon Lee met with Mark Wilde and Steve Gray to answer questions and to inform voters.
The goal of the evening was for voters to be confident they are voting for the best candidate for School Board.

View the Facebook event.

We realize people might not be able to attend October 13 so we will be posting questions after the event.



Questions to date:

What is the role of the school board, and what would you bring to the board if elected?

What can the school board do differently to make sure voters are informed about the school board or candidates?

In your position as board member, you will be in a unique position to be a powerful advocate for children from marginalized groups. What is a marginalized group? How do you see yourself exercising that power?

How can the schools get more money for classroom supplies like textbooks, pencils, and pens? The special needs classrooms need supplies like chewies and fidgets.

What is your vision of a positive school climate and how would you like to see your district promote that vision?

School dropout is a problem with enormous social costs. What do you feel your district could do differently to address school dropout?

How can you relate to the issues children have, but still enforce power as a part of the board?

As a school board member, you may be asked to make decisions about non-mandatory student expulsions and long-term suspensions. What will be your guiding principles in making those difficult decisions? Are there situations you would absolutely expel? Are there situations you would not expel?

Nationally, there has been a disturbing trend of suspending preschool and early elementary school students. Some communities are banning such suspensions. What is your position on suspensions in the early grades?

How will you promote transparency and regular review of expulsion, suspension, and school arrest data?

What role, if any, do you feel law enforcement should have in schools?

What is your school district’s approach to school discipline and do you think it’s working? If not, what would you like to change?

South of Michigan Avenue and the Willow Run areas house the majority of the students in Ypsilanti Community Schools, but voices from these areas are minimally heard. In what ways would you seek to increase voices from parents from these areas in decision-making? What about youth voices?

Are there any discussions or consideration for merging with Ann Arbor Public Schools?

Would you promote Restorative Justice and/or Communities in Schools Programs?

Do you think being more active education-wise will make a student want to learn more?

What are the greatest successes of YCS in the past 2 years? Where did you expect the district to be by this point in its short life? What are the fastest, most significant changes YCS can implement in the next 2 years? What changes would you advocate for?

What is the current climate at YCS for LGBT students, and what policies/support/training is in place of should be in place to ensure support for these students?

LGBT youth, especially transgender youth and LGBT youth of color are even more at risk for becoming part of the school-to-prison pipeline and for mental health problems, including suicide. What are concrete things you will do as board members to reduce these numbers in YCS students? An example is allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

How will you evaluate [school] start times? Research supports even later start times. Right now, elementary students are getting picked up before 7 am!

Many of us have concluded that a majority in state government are actively working to damage and eventually destroy public education, in favor of privatization of schools. Is there a point where there is a role of school boards to join with other boards and community allies, as well as teachers and students, to say “no” to damaging policies and defunding from Lansing?

As a member of the board, has the topic of flexible schedules come up, in order to make it easier for students to come to school if they have jobs so they can support their family?

If you could do 1 thing to attract back some of the 50% of students in the YCS district who don’t currently attend YCS, what would you do?

How do you plan to use students at Concordia [University], Washtenaw [Community College], EMU and the U of M as resources for low test scores and the achievement gap for students at YCS, as well as Ypsilanti’s non-profit and self-help organizations?

Do you think the policies enforced in the schools are fair, such as behavior-wise? If not, how would you change them so that students won’t miss too much school?

Running for school board for each of you represents either bumping up to or maintaining a high level of investment in YCS. This district could use that level of investment from all four of you. If you are not elected to the board, what is something you see yourself doing to add to or to replace your current investment in YCS?

We need more help in the schools. Erickson is a wreck.

What are the short-term and long-term solutions for Ypsi schools?

Why shouldn’t we consolidate with other schools in the county?

How do you plan to deal with the naturally rising costs and the fact that it is unlikely that the state will come up with more money?

To Mark Wilde: How have the processes of an extra-curricular robotics program informed or prepared our schools for a successful and engaging STEM curriculum?

What do you believe are the root causes affecting the school district and how do you see the board addressing these issues?

What should the district do with vacant school buildings? If you’re in favor of renting/selling them, so you have any preference on the types of groups to sell to?

The state of Michigan just enacted a law to return 3rd graders who are not reading at grade level. 60% of YCS third graders were “not proficient” on the 2016 M-STEP. How should YCS respond/prepare for mass retention?

Backpack Project Update

Dedicated to Make a Change is looking for people and businesses to partner with local Ypsilanti Community high school students to created educational reform, for as little as $50.
$50 will give a high school student: a backpack, five notebooks, three folders, 100 note cards, a pack of graph paper, highlighters, pencils, pens, colored pencils, three hole punch, ruler, white out, page markers, and a composition book.
The students are aware peers are often home-free for a night or two, so each backpack will contain these hygiene supplies: soap, deodorant, kleenex, hand lotion, tooth brush and tooth paste, menstrual products, combs, brushes, and picks.

College Visits

Here is our revised college schedule:
Monday- no tour
Tuesday- Washtenaw community college (specifically culinary arts and criminal justice)
Wednesday-Kettering college (engineering/STEM)
Thursday – Wayne State
Friday- Bowling Green University (specifically their arts department)
If you are interested let Gail know- as soon as possible

Hi everyone!
We are taking trips to schools each day of the August 22-26 week. Please read below to find out more information. Each trip has a small cost per participant to cover gas. Everyone is welcome — priority goes to students in the 12th, 11th, 10th, and 9th grades.
There are many colleges and universities in the area and it would take several weeks to visit them all, so we chose five schools whose programs closely align with the dreams and goals of DTMAC participants. The first line of each shares the reason we chose the school.
Schoolcraft College – Livonia, MI (30 minutes away)
DTMAC participants have expressed interest in culinary, cosmetology, construction, and manufacturing programs — Schoolcraft has these programs and more. This school also has many liberal arts and science programs, business, public safety, criminal justice, health professions, and much more. We are visiting on August 22nd. This trip costs $5/participant.
Oakland University – Rochester, MI (1 hour away)
A main reason we are going to Oakland is because it has an Ethics Bowl team, and at the tournament in February, an instructor offered a team member a scholarship to attend Oakland University if he would be on the team. This school has many programs, including liberal arts, sciences, public safety, nursing, and social work. We are visiting on August 23rd. This trip costs $10/participant.
Kettering University – Flint, MI (1 hour away)
This is school is all about engineering, so DTMAC youth interested in engineering: look no further. Kettering offers programs in electrical, mechanical, chemical, and computer engineering, and more. We are visiting on August 24th. This trip costs $10/participant.
Baker College – Flint, MI (1 hour away)
This is another option for youth interested in nursing, culinary arts, public safety, auto/mechanics, and more. The school is a career college, so it focuses on applicable skills and career training programs such as those listed above, as well as engineering, education, human services, transportation, and more. We are visiting August 25th. This trip costs $10/participant.
Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, OH (1 hour away)
This school also has lots of programs, but the main reason we are going is because of its extensive list of 3D and 2D art programs — 2D programs: painting and drawing, photography, printmaking (including digital art). 3D programs: ceramics, glass, jewelry and metals, and sculpture. It also has a full range of liberal arts, sciences, engineering, business, social work, education, mechanics, and health professions programs, and much more. This trip costs $10/participant.
For a full list of programs of each school, or a list of schools that offer a certain program or major, please contact us.
If you’re interested in visiting these colleges with us, please contact us.
Have a good weekend!

Backpack Project

Summer Backpacks8/20/16 Update:
Dedicated to Make a Change is looking for people and businesses to partner with local Ypsilanti Community high school students to created educational reform, for as little as $50.
$50 will give a high school student: a backpack, five notebooks, three folders, 100 note cards, a pack of graph paper, highlighters, pencils, pens, colored pencils, three hole punch, ruler, white out, page markers, and a composition book.
The students are aware peers often are home-free for a night or two so each backpack will contain these hygiene supplies: soap, deodorant, kleenex, hand lotion, tooth brush and tooth paste, menstrual products, combs, brushes, and picks.
Thank you for considering our request.

We will be handing out backpacks on August 30th and 31st from 1 to 5 pm. More info here

14021463_1244213728945212_6750419396864177589_n 13938566_1245049245528327_988122370499835535_n 13934944_1244213705611881_1159433800709554131_n

We are teens at Dedicated to Make a Change are making jewelry, origami cranes, and other items to sell at the Ypsilanti Farmers Market starting Tuesday, August 2nd.

80% of the proceeds are going towards school supplies for high school students in Ypsilanti Community Schools, and the remaining 20% is going to supplies for DTMAC. We are guessing each filled backpack will cost $50.

Buying school supplies for students helps them have a better mindset so they are focused on the class work and what they’re learning in the classroom. Also, having proper school supplies allows for positive educational reform by enabling them to be well prepared.

We really appreciate your willingness to support us on our community endeavor to purchase school supplies for YCS students.

We are looking for people and businesses to partner with us. If you want to give money, school supplies, a backpack, which will hold up to 30 pounds of books, let us know:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Message (required)


Victoria Stewart, Tajon Reid, and Gail Wolkoff were featured on WEMU 89.1 in an interview about the Black Lives Matter/City of Ypsilanti community forum. Check it out here!

Cedar Point

Heavyn, Tenaya, and Gail took a trip to Cedar Point to have fun and learn about math, science, and physics.

It was too cold to ride roller-coasters, so they stopped at the Toledo Art Museum. They met people from the Glass Academy who taught them how to make glass flowers.

Summer Work Skills Program


Youth in the Community Service program organize books at a community center in Flint, Michigan.

Our Summer Work Skills Program focuses on academics, community service, field trips, and more.

Programs begin June 27 and end August 26.

The Summer Work Program will be at the Clubhouse – 104 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Call (734)-358-1402 for more information.





Summer Work Skills Program 2pdf-2Summer Work Skills Program 2pdf-1








Click here to see the updated calendar for the Summer Work Skills Program


Prevent and Prevail Spring 2016!

Prevent and Prevail is on Thursdays from April 28th to May 26th from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Parkridge Community Center.

Prevent and Prevail is a program for youth up to 19 years old that hosts open discussions on sex, empowerment, identity, orientation, expression, STIs and HIV, with a focus on well-rounded knowledge about HIV prevention, comprehensive sex education, and consent.
Over 150 youth in the city and township of Ypsilanti have completed the program! This means they know accurate information instead of believing the myths and misconceptions. Read more here.

Apply to be hired as a participant! Come to Parkridge Community Center on April 12th, 13th, or 14th between 6:15 and 7:15 pm.

Prevent and Prevail Facilitators Training

Calling youth leaders!

We will soon be doing another run of our youth-led sexual education and empowerment program, Prevent and Prevail.

In order for that to happen, we need youth facilitators to run the sessions!

So, we are having a 3-Day Facilitator’s Training for youth interested in co-facilitating sessions of Prevent and Prevail

The training will take place March 11, 12, and 13, 2016 at the DTMAC Clubhouse, 104 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti, 48197


Friday, March 11th, 2016 from 7 to 9 pm — Orientation and expectations

Saturday, March 12th, 2016 from 11 am to 6 pm — Training

Sunday, March 13th, 2016 from noon to 6 pm — Training

We will cover:

– How to lead icebreakers, group discussions, and activities

– Accurate information about relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality

Call 734-358-1402 and talk to Cleo or Gail for more information!

P&P training announcement

February Update


Justin Thomas, Juan Davis, Tenaya Robinson, and Dominick Carthage work on their presentation during the Ethics Bowl.

Happy Mardi Gras to you~
The goal of this newsletter is to give more information about Dedicated to Make a Change. DTMAC is a for-profit business. As an L3C, we demonstrate a triple bottom line of our commitment to our community, aspiration to create a just education system, and financial training to our employees. All our programs and services provide and prioritize learning and academic solutions for youth who attend underfunded schools.

Click here to read the newsletter!

December Decree

Happy December!

December Update

This month’s newsletter includes updates about current and past DTMAC employees, interns, and facilitators, information about our trip to D.C., and more!

Click here to view our December Update!

November Newsletter

Happy November!


It’s getting colder outside, we are fast approaching the holiday season, and we at Dedicated to Make a Change want to share a few things we are thankful for. We give thanks for the awesome participants, mentors, tutors, interns, and volunteers that help keep us running. We are also thankful for our sponsors, donors, participants’ parents and guardians, and supporters whom we couldn’t do without. From coming by to visit, to donating items for the clubhouse, to just reading our monthly newsletter, we appreciate everything you do to support DTMAC!

We have several events coming up this month. In H.O.P.E., the Open House at 2:30 pm on November 14th. The Ethics Bowl kickoff event is at U of M on November 8th from 1-4 pm.

For info about upcoming events, including our Spring Break Trip to D.C., read more here!

October Newsletter

“Fall is officially here, and so is school. H.O.P.E. Academic Program participants are working hard on their academics everyday after school at the clubhouse.

Teens gather for teen-run activity planning, or T.R.A.P., on Saturdays from 12 pm to 2 pm. T.R.A.P. is a program in which teens create, plan, and run activities for themselves and other teens in the community. Past activities include the Glow in the Dark Teen Party that took place in August, and field trips.”

For details about upcoming T.R.A.P. events, and more, read the newsletter here!

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:


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.


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!!

Turn Up! Drama Down! A Weekend of Things to do for Teen

Teen REC Night

When: Friday, August 8 from 5-8pm

Who:  People in the graduating classes between 2014 and 2019

Where: EMU Recreation & Intramural Sports Department

Bring swim suit, towel, and sports equipment can be rented with ID

Entrance $5.00

For more information call: 734 218 2953



When: Saturday, August 9, from 6:00-8:00pm

Who: Everyone

Where: Ypsilanti Public Library Plaza

Entrance: Free

For more information contact: 734.482.4110 x1390


Teen Party 2

When: Saturday, August 9, from 7:00-10:00pm

Who: People in the graduating classes between 2014 and 2018

Where: Ypsilanti Community High School Cafeteria

Entrance $3.00

For more information call: 734 218 2953



Montasia interviews Melinda

1. When is your birthday?” My birthday is April 12, 1997.”
2. How old are you?” I am 17 years old”.
3.What is your favorite food?” cheese pizza rolls.
4.What is your favorite color?” pink”
5.What do you want in life?” to be overall successful.”
6.What do you like to do?” I like to sing and dance”.
7. What school do you go to?” I graduate from WSC Academy, but plan on going to Ross.”
8. is your favorite car?” A Range Rover  or Hummer, big trucks.”
9. What is your favorite sport? “I don’t play sports, but like watching basketball.”
10.What is your favorite  restaurant? “My favorite restaurant is Apple bees.”
11. Who is your idol and why? “My mom is my idol because she raised 5 kids by herself.”
12. What is your favorite song?” Complicated- by Nivea.”
13.What is your favorite movie? “My favorite movie is  ATL.”
14. Where are you from? “I’m from Ypsilanti Michigan”.
15. What is your biggest achievement you’ve made in life already? That I graduate a year earlier than others

Sex, Cookies, and Money

Every Thursday this month, a group of teenagers gathers at the Dedicated to Make a Change clubhouse to talk about sex, eat cookies, and get paid. This is Prevent and Prevail. Prevent and Prevail was started to educate youth ages 12-21 on how to prevent HIV, and the topics covered have branched out from there. Continue reading

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.

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.

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