The Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation hosted the 39th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day at Belle Isle earlier this month, providing activities for nearly 40,000 students.
Ed Deeb, founder and president of the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation, created the event to serve as a positive environment for Metro Detroit’s youth population.
“We only had a handful of people at the beginning compared to today,” Deeb says.
Deeb explains the program started off in response to kids getting in trouble, and an initiative by former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young to motivate and inspire kids. Metro Detroit Youth Day offers students access to activities, scholarships and college information.
This year’s program had motivational speakers for kids — from celebrities to athletes.
“We can let [kids] know, ‘If you’re smart and do things the right way, you’re going be smart and intelligent when you grow up as well as these people did,'” says Deeb.
Deeb hopes more people get involved to inspire the youth.
“We want to eliminate all the fighting that goes on, if there is any anymore, and have [them] become friends and help us work with other people,” states Deeb.
Deeb is already thinking about what the 2024 Metro Detroit Youth Day will look like.
“We will keep on doing things, we keep making the city a better place.”