Youth Programs

Youth Programs

All youth programs are free of charge, open to anyone regardless of identity or residency, and are offered for youth ranging from 12-22 years old.

For questions regarding Youth Programming, please contact Joe at or call (248) 398-7105.


Carl Rippberger Youth Drop-In Center and Discord Channel 

A safe space for youth ages 13-18 to engage their peers in networking, fun, and learning. The Drop-In Center is equipped with an Xbox One, board games, foosball, Netflix, Disney+, and much more.

Check back for details on upcoming activities!

To replace the current absence of our on-site Youth Drop-In, Affirmations set up a DISCORD server. The Friday & Saturday 4-9 PM in-person option was replaced by this 24/7 access counterpart, for the duration of COVID restrictions and has become a way for youth continue engaging with one another. Youth are able to connect and express themselves in different themed “channels/chat rooms” within our private server. This is offered to our youth ages 12-18 and is monitored by Affirmations’ staff and adult volunteers.

For an invitation, please email Joe Volpe at for information. 


Youth Leadership and Development Program

Sponsored by FCA Foundation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and the Walters Family Foundation, this is a 16-week, curriculum-based program that molds LGBTQ+ Youth, ages 12-22, into leaders by providing them with career development skills and advocacy tools. Topics include resume writing, interview skills, race and racism, mental health, self-care, and much more.

Our Winter 2023 cohort began on Monday, February 6. Meetings are held on zoom Mondays and Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30PM.

Please look out for updates on this program for our Fall 2023 cohort later this year!


Youth Internships (age 15-18)

Youth who have previously completed at least one cohort of our Youth Leadership and Development Program will be assigned to work with staff from various departments of the organization.


#FinnItForward Fund

The #FinnItForward Fund was created by Finn It Forward, Affirmations, and other collaborative funders to assist LGBTQ+ individuals with emergency funding needs.
Click here to learn more about the fund and the application process. 

Finn It Forward, a non-profit organization created to honor the legacy of Finn Huston exists to support and reward individuals who exemplify kindness, leadership, courage, and creativity. This includes advancement in education, fine arts, and music as well as supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Click here to visit FinnItForward.Org and learn more about the cause.


Pride Prom

An inclusive dance party complete with music, snacks, and fun themes for youth ages 12-18 to attend. Attire is always come dressed for the theme or come as you are. Pride prom takes place in June during pride month.

Our 2023 Pride Prom will be held on Friday, June 30 from 7-10 PM at Affirmations!

Reading Rainbow

The Reading Rainbow is a partnership between Affirmations and The Ferndale Area District Library for youth in grades 4-8. This event is being held monthly at the Ferndale Area District Library.

This is a social hour with a book discussion included. Each month, attendees have the chance to read and then discuss a selected book at the Reading Rainbow.

March’s book of the month we’re discussing is The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan. Join here!
Participants are responsible for locating their own copy of the book. Limited copies are available at the Ferndale Area District Library and may be available at other local libraries. To place a hold at the Ferndale Area District Library click here.
Please contact Damon ( or  Mary Grahame ( at the Ferndale Area District Library if you have any questions or need help locating the book.

The Ferndale Area District Library is located at 222 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI, 48220.

Summer Theatre Intensive

This program is currently under re-development. Check back soon for details!

In partnership with the Ringwald Theatre.

Are you interested in theatre? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to develop a production in less than a week? Would you like to find out how things work backstage?
The Ringwald Theater has developed a special summer program that focuses on LGBTQIA2S+ theatrical production for youth ages 14-18. Students will work closely with local theatrical, and production professionals to develop a 1 hour showcase of student monologues and scenes.


Support & Discussion Groups

Affirmations’ Youth Support & Discussion Groups are FREE for any youth who’d like to access them virtually or at the Center. The groups are intended to provide youth with connection, support, and Community around a particular issue or identity. All groups are considered a safe space so we ask that they are NOT observed by students for studies or similar purposes.


We Are The Voices Discussion Group

Giving LGBTQ+ youth of color a voice! Ages 13-19…

If you are seeking a safe space to have fun, socialize, vent, gain resources and support, please join us virtually every Friday from 4 pm- 5 pm!

For more information, please contact Toni Jackson at or text THE VOICES to (313) 288-8606.






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