New program teaches Detroit girls to achieve through figure skating

Figure Skating in Detroit is the first offshoot of a successful youth development program based in Harlem.

A lauded New York-based figure skating program that shows young girls how to “build a foundation on ice” through youth development is expanding to Detroit, making the city a pilot site for the organization to expand.

Announced at the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony today, Figure Skating in Harlem’s first offshoot, fittingly called Figure Skating in Detroit, launches with the goal of helping Detroit girls ages 6-15 through special community workshops, summer camps, after-school program and more – all centered around figure skating.

Figure Skating in Harlem began 20 years ago and “has helped hundreds of girls each year in New York City’s most under-resourced neighborhoods graduate from high school and continue on to college, get access to fitness and health opportunities, grow in confidence (and) develop crucial teamwork and leadership skills,” FSH President Sharon Cohen says in a news release.

Geneva Williams will lead Figure Skating in Detroit, which will be housed in the Jack Adams Ice Arena in Detroit and will also use ice rinks at Campus Martius and the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Township. “This is a youth development opportunity for Detroit’s young women, wrapped around the fun, artistry and discipline of figure skating,” Williams says.

Girls interested in the program must be Detroit residents, and parents must go through an interview process to ensure they can meet rigorous schedule demands. FSD in turn provides girls with all proper figure-skating gear, including show costumes.

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The expansion comes with support from the nonprofit MWF, which will also help girls achieve through STEM-based learning, living a healthy lifestyle and entrepreneurship and leadership skills.

“The introduction of Figure Skating in Detroit is a huge win for Detroit girls…and when Detroit’s young people win, the entire community and region reap the benefits,” said Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of MWF. 

For more information on Figure Skating in Detroit, click here.

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