Thursday, September 7, 2023

Registration for B.L.O.C.K. programs under way

Applications are now being accepted for the Canton Lead #LikeAGirl, Be A #ModelMan, and Youth Advisory Council programs for the 2023-2024 school year. The free programs are available through The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center for local youths who are interested in developing critical life skills, such as: self-confidence, interpersonal communication skills, stress management, and leadership skills, organizers said.

Lead #LikeA Girl was developed in 2015 by The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center. This free program enables participants to challenge themselves, discuss relevant issues that young girls face with their peers, and foster relationships with female role models within the community. This award-winning program serves a diverse group of young women ages 11-16 and is designed to change the way that these participants, and the community-at-large, think about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl…and ultimately live #LikeAGirl.

Be A #ModelMan, established in 2016, aims to grow six core values, including: integrity, empathy, compassion, inner strength, courage, and respect. Monthly themed workshops take place from October through May and are designed to inform program participants ages 11-16 about healthy masculinity, leadership and community involvement. In addition, this program curriculum encourages participants to interact and foster relations with public servants and community model men, who embody the program's core values. 

The Canton Youth Advisory Council is a group of area high school students who truly make a difference in their community, a spokesman said. Members participate in community service projects, lead special events, participate in local decision-making, and award annual grants to organizations that benefit Canton Youth.

“With the start of another school year, we are excited to challenge these young individuals with new experiences that will help them develop new skills and confidence,” said Chelsea Straub, youth recreation specialist. “All of these unique opportunities help inspire participants to be real change-makers to help make a difference in their communities.” 

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply through The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center. Applications are currently available on The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center website at and must be submitted by Sept. 22. Program space is limited, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Local volunteer and financial support have helped these programs expand their positive programming opportunities. Some current and past sponsors include: MASCO, Community Financial Credit Union, Eastern Michigan University, and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for individuals, businesses, and foundations to assist in the development of future sessions. To become involved, contact Laura Mortier at (734)394-5376 or email

The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center is located on the third floor of the Canton Administration Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road in Canton.