MARQUETTE — Local female students are participating in a program that takes them to new places – both in physical location and in life. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more on the program, and how community members are helping to support these students.
Female students at Marquette Alternative High School are empowering themselves and each other through a program called “She Believed.”
Marquette Alternative High School Teacher Nora Torreano says, “Part of the reason that this started was myself and some of the other female teachers saw how the girls would talk to each other and how males would talk to them, and it just didn’t seem like something we wanted to portray in this school.”
“She Believed” is built around improving, providing and supporting wellness; career and college prep; and teaching healthy habits.
The title of the program is taken from the phrase, “She believed she could, so she did.”
The program allows girls to learn new skills and hobbies, and travel to different places. This year they are traveling to Washington, D.C.
Senior Kayti Spitza says this program and the trips help build confidence in young women.
“It is a program that allows women to empower themselves and show that we are more than what meets the eye,” Spitza added, “and we are stronger than what people assume. Women are able to put in as much effort as men to get to something they want. This trip is showing us that if we put our minds to it, we can do anything.”
Students work hard to raise funds for the trip through bottle drives, grant writing and reaching out to the community.
Recently an NMU student saw this hard work and began an online fundraising campaign to help.
Brooke Baily, the NMU student, says, “Not just leaving the school, but leaving the town, and leaving Michigan and going miles away is a huge growing experience, and, I mean, most of them haven’t ever been to Washington, D.C. and the things that they are going to be able to see – like going to the White House, and the memorial wall, and things like that – I think it’s going to be a really big eye opener for them.”
Baily was able to raise and donate $2,000.
Torreano says that the girls took away something more valuable than money from Brooke’s donation.
“They could see that somebody as young as Brooke, who’s just starting out, was able to get all this stuff together,” Torreano added, “and felt like it was important enough to do something special and important for other people. So I think that was just a good lesson for them.”
If you would like to help the school is accepting monetary donations and returnables.
If there is a new way you would like to help, or have any questions contact the main office at Marquette Alternative High School.
Marquette Alternative High School at Vandenboom
1175 Erie Street
Marquette, MI 49855