One of the main goals throughout my internship was for me to truly challenge my notions about the effectiveness of prevention care and youth outreach. Through interning these past three months at Alternatives for Girls, I have learned how important the work being done here is and how it has shaped my outlook and future thought processes. AFG’s theory of change was pretty clear to me from the beginning. With all of their programming, they aim to challenge the normal “at-risk” timeline by providing effective prevention outreach, and shelter support for young women and girls in the Southwest Detroit community. This theory directly went in-line with my ideals. I have always been very passionate about working to improve prevention tactics so that the vicious cycle of both human trafficking and drug use is interrupted.
Throughout my time at AFG, I have learned how important it is to have people on your team who share the same vision and goals of your organization. From its founding, AFG has instilled its theory of change and mission statement in everything that it does. I see this most evidently in the meetings we have to develop workshops and new curricula. Before large decisions are made or new programs are initiated, AFG consults with the families already in the program. They make sure that the things instituted actually benefit the community and promote positive change and community. I think this is very critical because a theory of change cannot be successful if the community is hesitant or resistant towards it. AFG understands its community because its theory of change is directly aligned with the members of Southwest Detroit. The reason I chose to intern at AFG was because of this. I have always believed in the holistic community approach to preventative tactics. It’s crucial that any preventative methods are considered alongside the multitude of factors that affect children and adolescents at risk. This is the only way to actually provide effective programming.