Tag Archives: youth leadership

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

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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:

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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: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/08/dedicated_to_change_holds_teen.html#incart_related_stories


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

June Newsletter

Newsletter June 2015

YouthSpeak: Safety

On November 10th, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the 2014 YouthSpeak meeting.

YouthSpeak is an annual youth public forum that empowers young people to advocate on their own behalf. Represenatative Rutledge, Sheriff Clayton, Washtenaw County prosecuting attorney Brian Mackie, Superintendents of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, State Representative Adam Zemke, Washtenaw Department of Human Services, and WISD all attended this forum. Youth were asked to write and present a 2-3 minute speech telling local decision-makers what safety meant to them.

Here’s what an employee of H.O.P.E. said:

What Safety Means to Me
“I am an 11th grade student at Ypsilanti High School. I work as a tutor for Dedicated to Make a Change. In school, I feel pretty safe, but as a student, I don’t think safety is the biggest issue in the school. I really think that, as a community, [we] should focus more on education. If we had a strong focus on learning, there would be fewer safety problems. For example, I have a class without a teacher. In this class, the students walk into class not expecting to learn, but to sit there and waste an hour of class that should be used to gain the privilege of a public education. Thank you.”

Valentine Road Film: Blogs

Documentary Film

Valentine Road

Dedicated to Make a Change, L3C is an all-inclusive youth organization. We support learning in a holistic and civic-minded fashion and provide high-quality, diverse opportunities for youth to learn through action about justice, diversity and social responsibility. We work with teens in Washtenaw County to support their dreams and restore their excitement in learning. One program in particular is focused on helping young teen’s combat academic iniquity and thrive in spite of a school system that is failing them: H.O.P.E., or Having Opportunities for Positive Education. Another of our program is Prevent and Prevail which is a comprehensive sex education program where youth-facilitate HIV prevention program. The teens host discussions of sex, empowerment, identity, orientation, expression, and prevention for STIs and HIV for their peers.

The youth who wrote the blog entries were from the H.O.P.E. program. The blogging opportunity gave a opportunity to look objectively at youth concerning youth “hate” crimes. Most of the youth have witnessed gun violence in their community, but analyzing and understanding impact of gun violence in regards to hate crimes was an eye opening experience. Viewing this situation offered a chance to critically think about what it means to “hate” without knowing someone. We discuss sexual and gender identity, and what it means to be an ally.

The youth at DTMAC are dedicated to making a positive impact on the community they reside in. when they were presented with the opportunity to go see the documentary Valentine’s Road they were overly ecstatic. When asked to record some of their thoughts they did so…

The movie told a lot of hurtful things. I did not know what to expect of Larry’s appearance, but before the movie I visualized what everybody was going to look like. All of Larry’s friends were very hurt to lose him. Brandon took a young man’s life, and by doing so he made a grown man decision. Larry was a young man with a joyful heart but it was took by a peer. If you haven’t watched this movie you should go see it

Class of 2016
-Juan Davis

My experience with watching the film “Valentine Road” really put me between a rock and a hard place. It was challenging on the thought of whether the defendant should be sentenced life or a hand full of years. This film sent out so many messages, and eye-openers. It also shows us the type of society we live in, and have to survive through on an everyday bases. It would be best for this film to be spread around internationally not just targeting teens and minors, but everyone! Once again this is a fantastic film.

Class of 2016
-Maia Byrd

The documentary Valentine’s Road was a very emotional, interesting, and detailed film. The film was based on a young boy who was shot and killed by his middle school classmate because of sexual orientation. It expressed the terrible feelings of Larry’s fellow classmates and friends. In my opinion this is a great documentary.

Class of 2016
-Justin Thomas

Valentine rode was one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen this year. This movie was more than I can put into words. Its so hard to come to an understanding about how you feel after you watch it. It was more of a documentary in a movie form. Its breath taking. Its something you would want to watch over and over again just to make sure you didnt miss anything. If you haven’t seen this film yet, YOU NEED TO!!!!

Class of 2016
Otha Nash

Valentines Road was a very amazing and beautifully directed documentary. It opened my eyes to the reality of how judgmental society can be towards the Trans community. It also showed me that hate crimes are rarely ever handled fairly in the justice system. I hope that one day victims of hate crimes are not made to like they are the blame for their own harassment, assaults, and even murders.

Class of 2015, BSW
-Douglass Harvey

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



Saviontray interviews DeShawn

What is your fav color? “My fav color is red”.

What is your shoe size? “My shoe size is 11/1/2-12.

What kind of Shoe’s you like? “The kind of shoe’s I like is nike.

What kind of clothes do you like? “My fav kind of clothes is nike”.

What is your goal in life? “My goal in life in life is to go to collage”.

What is your hobby? “My hobby is playing basketball”.

When where you born? “ I was born Feb.12 1998”.

What is your fav food? “My fav food is pizza”.

What is your fav game system? “My fav game system is X-Box 360”.

What is your fav game? “My fav game is 2k14”.

Who is your fav actor? “My fav actor is Tyler Parry”.

Where is your place to eat? “My fav Place to eat is Bw3”.

What is your fav song? “My fav song is show the world”.

What is your middle name? “My middle name is Mike”.

What is your nickname? “My nickname is Sammy Sosa”.

Dominick interviews Justin

Whats your middle name? “ My middle name is Lawrence.”

Whats your favorite sport? “ My favorite sport is basketball.”

How many times  have you moved? “ I have moved 3 times.”

Whats your favorite restaurant? “ My favorite restaurant is Tonys.”

Whats your favorite type of movie? “ My favorite type of movie is action.”

What do you want to be when your 37? “ I want to be rich.”

Whats your favorite type of car? “ My favorite car is a  Lamborghini.”

How tall are you? “ Im 5ft 6.”

What hospital were you born in? “ I was born in Saint Joe s hospital.”

Whats your favorite shoe brand? “ My favorite shoe brand is Nike.”

Where do you want to go? “ I want to go to Japan.”

How many states have you been to? “ I have been to 5 states.”

Have you been out of state? “ I have been to Canada.”

Darius interviews Bruce

What is your name? “ My name is Bruce David Jones.”

What is your favorite sport? “ My favorite sport is football.”

What is your favorite food? “ My favorite food is nacho’s.”

What is your favorite car? “ My favorite car is a Masseriti.”

What is your favorite drink? “ My favorite drink is a Brisk.”

How many girlfriends have you had? “ I had 6 girlfriends.”

What is your favorite color? “ My favorite color is red.”

Whats your favorite brand? “ My favorite brand is Nike and Jordan.”

What is your favorite movie? “ My favorite movie is Friday.”

What is your favorite song? “ My favorite song is Chief Keef Love No Thotties.”

What is your eye color? “ My eye color is dark brown.’’

Whats your favorite hairstyle? “ My favorite hairstyle is an Afro and Taper

How much do you weigh? “ I weigh 205lbs

What is your favorite fastfood restaurant? “ My favorite restaurant is McDonald

What hand do you write with? “ I right with my right hand.”

Tyree interviews Anthony

Anthony’s favorite hoppy is to” play the drums.” As we kept talking about the new things we didn’t know about each other i found out that anthony’s favorite rapper is “change the rapper” and  also his favorite is from chance the rapper “ Favorite song” Ft Childish gambino.” Anthony’s favorite color is “orange.” Anthony’s favorite game system is “PS4.”His favorite T.V show is “NBA live.” Anthony favorite sport is “Basketball.” Anthony has “3 sibling” Eric,Ramal,Kenny. His favorite shoe brand is Nike.His favorite teacher when he was in school was “Mr Perry.” His Geoart and math teacher.The music he likes is “gospel and AandB” His favorite season is “Summer .” Anthony favorite dessert is “ ice cream.” His favorite mover is Frie day after Next.

TeWan interviewed by Ann

TeWan Rolax is 15 years old and has lived in Ypsilanti his entire life. TeWan’s favorite food is macaroni and cheese. He hates pasta salad! TeWan loves to play football. This fall he’ll be a freshman in high school and will play running back on his school’s junior varsity football team. He’s hit some golf balls, but never played a game of golf. Golf is the sport he’s most like to try out. TeWan has visited Kentucky, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. If he could visit any place in the United States, TeWan would pick California. In his spare time, TeWan likes to play football and talk to girls.  His favorite subject in school is math. TeWan is right-handed and his favorite color is red. TeWan’s favorite professional sports teams are the Baltimore Ravens and Oklahoma City Thunder.  He enjoys Subway’s ham and cheese sub on toasted cheddar bread and stuffed crust cheese and pepperoni pizza. He hopes to play professional football some day and then be a NFL coach. One movie he wants to see this summer is The Purge.

Megan Interviews Michele

  1. What is your full name? “My full name is Michele Diane Dodson.”
  2. Where were you born? “I was born in Detroit, Michigan, at Grace Northwest Hospital.”
  3. Where do you live now? “I currently live in Lincoln Park, Michigan.”
  4. What plant would you be if you could be any plant? “I would be an Aloe Vera plant.”
  5. Who is in your family? “In my family, I have a husband, three children, my two parents, two sisters and one brother.”
  6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “In five years, I see myself having my masters degree in social work, and I see myself working at a job I love.”
  7. Do you like going barefoot or wearing shoes? “I like wearing shoes, but I hate wearing socks.”
  8. Do you have a favorite food? “I really love any kind of cheese.”
  9. Would you rather live in a big city or a small town? “I would rather live in a big city, because of the diversity.”
  10. What was your first job? “My first job was being a hostess at Denny’s.”
  11. Have you ever been to a foreign country? “I have been to Windsor and Toronto in Canada.”
  12. Do you like older or newer houses? “I live older houses that are in good condition.”
  13. Do you have any career goals, and if so, what are they? “ I want to be a social worker, especially one who does community service work.”
  14. What is your favorite movie? “I love any movies by the Coen brothers.”
  15. If you were to get a tattoo, what would you get? “If I were to get another tattoo, I would get a Chrysanthemum on my stomach.”