STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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This special reporting project wrapped up in May 2017. Read more.

Dispatches from the Storybooth: Girls Group

State of Opportunity's story booth has been busy the last few weeks. It has traveled to Lansing, Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, and around the corner in Ann Arbor. Plenty of these stories will be on the air throughout the summer. 

Almost all of the interactions start out the same. Someone sits or stands in front of the microphone, takes a deep breath and is forced to recount for me what they had for breakfast so I can sound check.

But from there, every storyteller is different. This dispatch is from a few weeks before the end of the school year. After school one Friday I went to a nearby community center to meet about thirty young women from Washtenaw County's Girls Group.

These are all young women, most of them African American, who get together each week to find community and support each other as they navigate through high school.  They also take advantage of the mentors around them and lots of programming like fall college tours.

All the young women I spoke to were open, interested in learning how to tell their story, and enjoying themselves. I have a feeling the booth will be making more trips to Girls Group over the years.

Here's a little snippet from 16 year old Nia Willis. She can break it down in Chinese, and lets us into her life a little bit.

Thanks to Alex Wilson for producing that audio. Sign up for the storytelling booth, or just tell us your story directly. We always love to hear from you. 

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