My Next Move grads hopeful about their futures

October 11th, 2021
My Next Move graduates Analiyah, Ziomara, Briyeah and Diamond.

When Analiyah “got in some trouble” last year, she joined Southwest Solutions’ Youth Assistance Program (YAP). After successfully completing YAP, Analiyah heeded the recommendation of Anthony Graham, prevention specialist with YAP, and enrolled in My Next Move.

“I’m glad I did,” said Analiyah, who is 16 and a junior in high school. “I liked that we had to set goals at the beginning of the program. Mine was to earn and save money to buy a car.”

My Next Move serves youth 15-21 years old who live in southwest Detroit. The program teaches about career development, job readiness, life and leadership skills, and financial literacy. It also provides tutoring in math, reading and GED preparation, as needed. Classes meet three evenings a week for six months, and participants receive a stipend.

Analiyah saved up her stipends. She also worked during the summer, helping to clean the basements of homes affected by the flooding. She was then able to meet her goal and buy a used car.

“I have other goals in mind, too,” Analiyah said. “I would like to go to college or trade school. I’m also looking for another job, and will use the skills I learned in My Next Move about writing a resume and job interviewing.”

Ziomara is one of three other students who are members of the latest graduating class of My Next Move.

“I enjoyed the program and it re-affirmed the tactics you need in the career world to get a job and get ahead,” said Ziomara, who is 17 and a senior in high school.

Ziomara intends to go to college and study computer engineering.

“At this time next year, I’ll be in school doing something scholarly,” said Ziomara confidently.

Ladder plant stand made by My Next Move students

Ziomara also has hands-on skills because of helping her father with his construction work. She used those skills during the last four weeks of this My Next Move cohort, when the students went to our YouthBuild program to learn about pre-apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades. As part of this training, the students constructed a ladder plant stand.

“I really enjoyed cutting the wood for the plant stand and then decorating it,” said Briyeah, who graduated with Analiyah, Ziomara and Diamond from the program.

“My Next Move has helped me think about college more,” said Briyeah, who is 18 and a high school senior. “I am thinking about becoming a therapist because of how much my counselors at Southwest Solutions have helped me.”

My Next Move is a collaboration between Southwest Counseling Solutions and Southwest Economic Solutions. It is overseen by Gwenneth Marshall and Marquita Felder at our Children, Youth and Families division. The program is sponsored by Bridgeway Services.

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