Jenny is a certified elementary teacher but has been an almost full-time stay-at-home mom since her children were born. She is a Restorative Practices Facilitator for the district and is currently working at Pearson Elementary.
She has been part of the Summer Enrichment Program since its very beginning. She has enjoyed volunteering, working on staff, and now being the program coordinator. Theater was one of her favorite activities as a child and still is to this day. She was involved in theater throughout her schooling.
Theater inspires people to be goofy, weird and fantastic. It gives people confidence that they might not find in other places. It is a group of people working together to achieve the same goal, an amazing production.
Marcie works as a virtual School Social Worker for K12 schools during the academic year, and has a Master's Degree in Social Work. She enrolled in the Summer Enrichment Program as a student participant in 1997, and was hired to staff in 2003. Every year in the program has been a blessing, and she cannot imagine dedicating her summer to anything else.
She has taught sign language to the students since 2010, and is constantly amazed by how quickly young minds pick up even the most difficult sign language songs. She has spent her years on staff doing sign language, writing scripts, leading activities, directing shows, and more recently, dabbling in "behind-the-scenes" administrative duties.
Her favorite thing about the program is that students feel comfortable being themselves and are celebrated for their individuality. She loves watching them step out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves while still being true to who they are. The program is a safe space, and watching the same kids come back year after year (sometimes with new friends in tow!) is proof that the program creates a long-lasting impact on the youth in the South Lyon community.
Joey Abate is a student at South Lyon High School (Class of 2023) and has been both student and volunteer for the Summer Enrichment Program since 2015. One of his favorite hobbies is playing guitar in his ample free time.
The Summer Enrichment Program would be the highlight of Joey’s summer when he was a kid, due to the warm and welcoming environment, entertaining games, and most importantly ACTING!! Being able to enroll yourself as a character and being lost in your own world on stage, making the audience, “ooh” and aww” has alwas been a rewarding feeling for him. Joey loves being able to express himself freely, and acting on stage is the freedom the young Joey craved.
Ayana Ihara attends South Lyon East High School (Class of 2023). She has been part of the program since 2013 as both a volunteer and student participant. 2021 will be Ayana’s first year being a staff member and she can’t wait!
Each year she looked forward to summer, not for the reasons most kids did. Ayana specifically looked forward to her Summer Enrichment experience. Knowing new friendships would be made, confidence will be improved, and making others smile while they did the same for her.
Ayana’s plan after high school is to work as a prosthetics engineer for veterans and children. The goal is to help in any way possible and do what she can to make people’s lives better. For the time being she will try to accomplish just that by providing others the same joy and experience she had at Summer Enrichment.
Ben Machesky is a student at South Lyon East High School and has been a part of the Summer Enrichment Program as a student and volunteer for a total of 7 years. He found his passion for theatre and performing arts through this program. This will be Ben’s first year as a staff member and he is beyond excited.
As a child, Ben looked forward to the summer every year to be back in the Program. He created many bonds and friendships during his time with the program that are very important to him today. Ben’s favorite part of the program is the judgment-free, friendly environment where people can be their true selves.
Ben plans to be an Automotive Technician after high school and wants to turn this into his life-long career.
Grace Mosher joined the Summer Enrichment staff in 2021. She is a former student of our program. She will be attending Western Michigan University in Fall 2021 and her major is Biomedical Engineering.
She was a dedicated member of the South Lyon High School Band Program for 4 years and is a big supporter of the art programs. She was a part of marching band, jazz band, pit orchestra, winter percussion, pep band, and she was a member of the A Capella choir. She hopes to continue in both choral and orchestral programs through college, and she loves to talk about anything music related.
She has been working with kids since she was in middle school and loves to interact with people in creative ways such as music and acting.
Ethan attends South Lyon High School, class of 2022. He loves being part of the Pride of the Lions Marching Band and South Lyon Percussion. He has been involved with the Summer Enrichment Program since 2009 as a participant and a volunteer.
Ethan has been a volunteer since he was in Middle School and this is his first year on staff. Summer Enrichment sparked his interest early on for learning American Sign Language. Over the years that interest grew and now he learns songs in sign language in his free time. He is excited to be teaching sign language this year. In the future, he plans to attend college to be a sign language interpreter.
His favorite part of the program is watching the kids form new friendships, and how the program allows kids to be okay with who they are. Learning scripts, sign language, songs, and dance are fun ways to spend a summer with friends. Having grown up with the program, he is ready to teach what he has learned and is excited to be working alongside all of the staff members.
Cooper Schultz is a graduate of South Lyon High School the class of 2020. He has been involved in the Summer Enrichment Program since 2009, being both a participant and a volunteer.
Being in the program kick-started Cooper’s love for acting. Because of the program, Cooper is considering pursuing the performing arts into college.
Cooper was hired to staff in 2019 and he is very excited to help students grow and have a fantastic time in the program.
The Summer Enrichment Program played a huge part in Cooper’s childhood. It taught him a lot about himself, as well as many useful skills. Cooper hopes to pass on everything he’s learned in order to make the summer the best it can be.
Miranda Stepchuk graduated from South Lyon East High School in 2020 and has been a part of the program for 3 years. This year will be her first year as a staff member, and she is beyond excited to be able to contribute to the program.
Miranda will be attending Hope College in the fall pursuing a career in dance. She is looking forward to developing her skills and knowledge of the arts.
The Summer Enrichment Program helped her further her passion and appreciation for the fine arts. She loves how this program allows students to engage in their creativity in a safe and encouraging environment. Miranda loves the sense of community that the program provides for students and staff.
Each summer she was excited to learn sign language and would break out in sign language at any moment when she heard the song.
Jake Werner is a graduate of South Lyon High School Class of 2020. He has been in the Summer Enrichment Program since the Summer of 2008!
The program has been a great asset to his life, as it was his first opportunity to step out of his shell into becoming more comfortable and confident in his own shoes. Also, it was the place where Jake found his love for acting and performing! He’s now honing these skills through a YouTube Channel online, as well as, a degree in Digital Video Production.
Jake was hired to staff in 2019. His favorite part of the program is engaging with the children ensuring everyone is enjoying themselves, whether it’s through making the children laugh with a joke, or cheering them up with a game to get them to smile, all he wishes is to make their summer the best it can be, just like how it was for himself growing up!
Jake loves how the program can create such a fun, safe, and creative environment for the students who don’t have that outlet in their day to day lives, as the program has turned me into the person he’s today. To honor that, he strives to pass everything he has learned onto our future students to ensure they get the most out of this once in a lifetime experience!
Hannah is in the class of 2022 at South Lyon East High School and has been a part of the Summer Enrichment Program since 2013.
She has had such an amazing time as both a participant and a volunteer for Summer Enrichment, which has led her to discover her passion for performing that she continues with her high school’s drama department.
Hannah is super excited for her first summer as a staff member, where she will help out with music!