• The academic foundation to graduate from high school
  • The academic foundation to succeed at a four-year college
  • Proficient skating skills


  • Confidence in their ability to achieve their personal goals
  • A life-long appreciation for physical fitness and nutrition as a tool to benefit the mind and body
  • Positive social and emotional skills


  • Proficient writers and possess critical thinking skills
  • Confident and capable public speakers
  • Able to make healthy food and fitness choices


Studies show that for girls, early adolescence is an important turning point. It’s when many girls slip behind in academic test scores; lack access to positive educational experiences; face risks to their health from poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

Figure Skating in Detroit’s holistic approach to youth development recognizes that both academic achievement and health education play a pivotal role in combatting systemic challenges that girls face, especially those growing up within a culture of generational poverty.

Scientific research has linked participation in sports such as figure skating to better physical health, better mental health and better social interactions. According to the New York Women’s Foundation, the most effective programs combat health and social risks by providing girls-only, multi-year engagement opportunities in a structured, supportive environment, offering both academic and sports components.


The Figure Skating in Detroit program model is based off of 20 years of proven success at Figure Skating in Harlem. The model is the only education, ice skating and leadership program of its kind in the country, and the effectiveness of the results have been proven successful. Through Harlem’s standardized computer assesment analysis 96% students reported improved leadership skills, 90% of students showed an improved competency in STEM concepts, and 80% of students exhibited improvement in reading or math.

The girls learn skills that require hard work, physical coordination, mental concentration, focus and creativity. Through participation on and off the ice, girls develop basic competencies that will serve them throughout their lives. The evidence shows that our students achieve higher school grades, develop stronger bodies, and most important, girls report increased feelings of personal accomplishment and self-worth. Perhaps this is why the vast majority of Figure Skating in Harlem’s students keep coming back year after year and 100% of their graduating seniors go on to higher education, attending colleges like Brown, Spelman, Georgetown, Boston College and many more.

Our vision is to empower every young girl with the foundational academic, social and leadership skills to achieve her dreams. She will be a powerful speaker, effective leader, live a healthy lifestyle and be a global citizen.