Rylee’s Statewide Opportunity

The Michigan Afterschool Partnership (MASP) recruited and selected five youth to serve as Youth Ambassadors, to share their perspectives on afterschool programs, statewide. Each Youth Ambassador also receives a stipend of $500 after their participation in the program, which runs for six months, from December 2023 to May 2024. One of the five students selected, was 13-year-old eighth grader from White Cloud Junior High School, Rylee Reisinger, who attends our Out-of-School Time Program, Project FOCUS Rural Grit.  

MASP Youth Afterschool Ambassadors receive training on being afterschool advocates; learning how to effectively communicate their afterschool experiences with elected officials, media, and others in leadership positions, and how to use their afterschool stories to advocate for change. As part of their ambassadorship, Youth Ambassadors will participate in virtual training focused on state-level policy and funding, and how to talk to legislators. As Youth Ambassadors, students will host legislative visits to their programs, and on May 9, 2024, which is MASP Capitol Day, youth will have the opportunity to travel to Lansing and meet with legislators on the lawn.

“A month ago, Mrs. Krbez (Project FOCUS Rural Grit Site Coordinator) told us about the MASP Youth Afterschool Ambassador Program,” said Rylee. “She asked who was interested, and encouraged us to apply if we were interested in being the voice of the Afterschool program. Not to mention the great opportunity it would bring to our community and school.” As she plans to continue her education in Early Childhood and open her own daycare center someday, Rylee thought she’d give the application a try and applied. After filing out the online application, which included a brief essay about her experiences with the TrueNorth Project FOCUS Rural Grit program, she waited almost a month to hear back.

“Rylee came into the room jumping up and down, shouting ‘I got it! I got it!’“ said Mandi Krbez. “I don’t know who was more excited, but I do know she’ll make an excellent Ambassador. This is a real honor for her, our program here at White Cloud, and for TrueNorth!”

Way to go Rylee!