DETROIT – Girls from all over Detroit got a chance this week to do something that at least some of them have never done before.
"Figure skating is not usually available for girls of color, but now it is," Geneva Williams, director of Figure Skating in Detroit, said.
Figure Skating in Detroit is an expansion of a successful youth program that started in Harlem, New York.
The weeklong summer camp at the Detroit Skating Club is a little teaser of what the fall after-school program will be like at the Jack Adams Arena in northwest Detroit.
Girls ages six to 15 get on-ice instruction from many teachers, including an Olympic gold medalist.
"It’s so fun to see them fall in love with figure skating," Meryl Davis said. "It’s all fun for them, but there are life lessons learned as well."
The girls also get classroom experience, learning everything sciense, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM; entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
"Today, we're learning how to make a website," 11-year-old Sophia English said. "It’s very, very challenging."
Lesson No. 1: When you fall on the ice, or in life, get right back up again. Lesson No. 2: Girls can be anything they want to be.
"The dream is we are inspiring future global leaders," Williams said.
The yearlong after-school program begins in October. All parents interested in signing their children up should go to the Figure Skating in Detroit website.