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The original item was published from 9/15/2016 1:25:36 PM to 12/1/2016 12:00:05 AM.

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Canton Leisure Services Division

Posted on: September 15, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Canton’s Youth Programs Return to Help Build Empowerment In Area Adolescents

These programs promote leadership and civic responsibility while building a strong foundation for teens to make a difference. The B.L.O.C.K Youth and Teen Center are actively committed to this initiative through the “Lead Like a Girl” and “The Youth Advisory Council” programs. Both programs are currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 academic year.

In the fall of 2015, a new program for young, at-risk women entitled, “Lead Like A Girl” broke down stereotypes about how to Lead. #LikeAGirl has become an epic social battle to redefine those words for generations of women who struggle with challenges related to sexism, bias, and self-confidence each day. This new initiative, serving a diverse group of young women between the ages of 11-15, is designed to change the way that these participants, and the community-at-large, thinks about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl…and ultimately live #LikeAGirl.

"It has been an amazing experience getting to work with such a bright and talented group of girls,” said Program Coordinator Laura Mortier. “In just four short months we have seen them grow into confident, well-spoken, and understanding young women. This program has allowed them to challenge themselves, discuss relevant issues that young girls face with their peers, and foster relationships with female role models in the community.”

The pilot group of participants, consisting of 14 girls, graduated in June, 2016. Qualified graduates will be given the opportunity to return this fall to serve as peer mentors and leaders for the incoming group of young women. Applications are now being accepted for the program’s sophomore year. Interested future candidates are encouraged to apply through the B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center. Applications are available on The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center website at Space is limited.

Local volunteer and financial support has helped Lead #LikeAGirl expand its positive programming opportunities. More than $11,500 has been granted, donated, and awarded to this initiative from supporters like the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Community Financial Credit Union, and the Kroger Company. Sponsorship opportunities for Lead #LikeAGirl are still available for individuals, businesses and foundations to assist in the development of future sessions. To become involved, please contact Laura Mortier at 734/394-5376 or email

Canton Township Leisure Services has identified Youth Development as a priority in the Canton Community. The Youth Advisory Council (Y.A.C.), through interaction with the community, philanthropy, and the Community Foundation will provide the Recreation Specialist (youth) input and guidance as Canton Leisure Services strives to enhance a sense of community among youth through empowerment and the education of responsibility youth have to their community.

The Y.A.C. continues to assert itself as an influential group of high school students who truly make a difference in their community. Members participate in community service projects, lead special events, participate in local decision making, and award annual grants to organizations that benefit Canton Youth. Members are selected through an application process. Applications are accepted annually each school year. If you are a student in grades 9-12 who lives in Canton, and are interested in getting involved with this dynamic group, call the B.L.O.C.K. at 734/394-5376.

The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center, located on the third floor of the Canton Administration Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road, provides a fun, teen-friendly environment where students from ages 11-17 can participant in supervised afterschool programs, social events, and activities. For more information, visit or call 734/394-5376.

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