Canton Leisure Services Division

Posted on: February 13, 2017

Canton’s Lead #LikeAGirl Program Receives mParks Innovative Programming Award

Canton Leisure Services’ popular Lead #LikeAGirl program for area young women was honored with an Innovative Recreation Programming Award earlier this month at the mParks Michigan Recreation and Park Association’s annual Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.


Canton Leisure Services unveiled this innovative program directed at young, at-risk women in the fall of 2015 at The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center.  This new program entitled, “Lead #LikeAGirl,” was inspired by a 2015 Super Bowl ad that challenged the nation to rethink an age-old adage about what it means to do something #LikeAGirl.


What was once considered an insult, #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. The B.L.O.C.K Youth and Teen Center remains committed to being a part of this movement. This popular program, which serves 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’s an honor to receive this recognition from mParks, but the real reward has been the amazing experience of getting to work with such a bright and talented group of girls,” said Program Coordinator Laura Mortier. “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 program was acknowledged for meeting its program objectives of: informing; interacting; and inspiring young women at monthly themed-workshops during its 2015-2016 pilot year.  Leisure Services staff worked to create an interactive and empowering Leadership Development curriculum for local young women that included collaborations with: Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, the Canton Public Library, Canton Public Safety, Michigan State Representative Kristy Pagan, and many more.


A group of 15 women were selected during the pilot program year and completed the nine-month commitment and graduated from the program in June 2016 in front of family and friends celebrating their new understanding of what it really means to Lead #LikeAGirl.


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 about Lead #LikeAGirl or The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center, visit www.cantonfun.org or call 734/398-5570.

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