The non-profit organization Figure Skating in Detroit provides opportunities to girls that are life-changing. Lori Ward, the Executive Director of the organization, says that “Our mission is to change lives by empowering our girls to be academically strong, to be confident, and to empower them with all of the tools they need to go on to be great global citizens in whatever area that they want. It’s really to change their lives”.
Growing up, Ward says, “I always skated recreationally”. Now as a former high school principal and teacher, Ward explains that she “has always worked in some kind of youth development capacity”. However, when she was a principal, she found that there were always more opportunities for boys than for girls. “What draws me to Figure Skating in Detroit was being able to work with girls. I have always found myself wanting to do more for girls,” she says. This makes her the perfect person to lead this kind of organization.
Lori and her husband after voting. "Wearing our organization clothing because we are both passionate about educating children!"
“The idea that I got to work with young girls and help them grow and be confident, and primarily working with girls of color who didn’t have access to the beautiful sport of figure skating was amazing,” Ward explains, “It’s academic leadership with figure skating. I loved it and wanted to somehow be a part of it”.
Detroit is the first city in a planned national expansion of the 20-year-old Figure Skating in Harlem program model. Being a non-profit organization, there are many ways that people can help Figure Skating in Detroit provide these amazing opportunities to its girls. “We are always looking for financial support and access to resources for our girls. We are a non-profit so we exist from grants, private donors, corporate sponsorship, and resources,” Ward says, “Donating to our organization will help us continue providing these top-notch academic and skating opportunities to our girls”.