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 Justin 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 Justin Bettcher 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.

Check back for information on our upcoming 2023 cohorts! Our Winter 2023 cohort will begin on Tuesday, February 6. 

Internships for Youth (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.


Reading Rainbow

The Reading Rainbow is a partnership between Affirmations and The Ferndale Area District Library for youth 8-12 years old.

Join Ferndale Area District librarians Mary Grahame and Damon as they explore LGBTQ themes in books and hang out afterwards!

December’s book of the month we’re reading is Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. 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.


Summer Theatre Intensive

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 every Friday from 4 pm- 5 pm, either in person at the Center or virtually at home!

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






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