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Summer Enrichment

PROGRAM STAFF

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Jenny Cort

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

founding family

Jenny is a certified elementary teacher but has enjoyed being a part-time stay-at-home mom since her children were born. Currently, she is a Kindergarten Paraprofessional for the Mattawan Consolidated school district. It’s great to be in the same building as her kids.



She has been part of the Summer Enrichment Program since the 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.
 
She believes theater inspires people to be goofy,  weird and fantastic. It gives people confidence that they might not find in other places.

Summer Enrichment is a place where you can experience those things! She hopes you can join us in this summers’ journey.

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Marcie Kryka

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

sign language

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, as of 2017, training on administrative duties. She has been Program Director since 2018. 

 

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.

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Ben Machesky

staff lead

theatre 101

Ben Machesky is a student at Michigan State University, class of 2026. He has been a part of the Summer Enrichment Program as a student and volunteer since 2012 and was hired to staff in 2020. He found his passion for theatre and performing arts through this program.
 
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 is majoring in music education and plans to teach music at the high school level after he graduates.

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Joey Abate

PROGRAM STAFF

theatre 101

Joey Abate is a South Lyon High School Graduate (Class of 2023) and has been both student and volunteer for the Summer Enrichment Program since 2015. He has been on staff since 2021. 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 always 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.


 

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Ashley Bledsoe

PROGRAM STAFF

special needs aide

Ashley Bledsoe is a student at South Lyon High School (Class of 2025). She has been a part of the program since 2013 becoming both a student and volunteer. One of her favorite hobbies is playing soccer in her free time.

The Summer Enrichment Program was something Ashley would always look forward to as a kid due to the fact that everyone always brought a great attitude and was very welcoming. Making new friends was always something that Ashley had looked forward to and she values those friendships a lot. Ashley loves the fun, creative, and inspiring environment that this program brings.

Ashley is very excited for her first summer as a staff member, where she will strive to make it a better place.

 

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Zac Desentz

PROGRAM STAFF

theatre 101

Zac Desentz is from South Lyon East High School (Class of 2023) Zac spent his first summer with the Summer Enrichment Program in 2022 where he helped out as a high school volunteer. 2023 will be Zac’s second year with the Summer Enrichment Program and his first year as a staff member!

Last year Zac had a blast helping out with the kids and making sure they were having fun while learning cool new acting techniques and life lessons. Zac hopes that with the status as staff member, he will be able to show kids that there is lots of stuff to smile about when growing up and teach them a thing or two about acting and maybe sprinkle in some improv.

After graduating, Zac is planning on going to Savannah College of Art and Design to study Film and TV and continue his journey to be a full fledged voice actor. To keep himself occupied while he waits, Zac hangs out with his friends and family and keeps working at his voice acting skills by making voice over videos!

 

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Ayana Ihara

PROGRAM STAFF

music

Ayana Ihara is a graduate South Lyon East High School (Class of 2023). She has been part of the program since 2013 as both a volunteer and student participant. She has been on staff since 2021.

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.



 

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Grace Mosher

PROGRAM STAFF

music

Grace Mosher joined the Summer Enrichment staff in 2021. She is a former student of our program, which founded her love of music and acting. She is attending college and is apart of the Secondary Teaching Program. Her hope is to become a high school English teacher.

She was a dedicated member of the South Lyon High School Band Program for 4 years and was apart of South Lyon High School’s choir program her senior year. She was involved with South Lyon Schools theatre programs in both middle school and high school.

Grace always looks forward to the summer! As a child she loved being able to go to Summer Enrichment to meet new friends and learn all about being on stage, as well as her favorite part, singing! Now she looks forward to being able to inspire kids to chase their dreams!

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Ethan Ponsock

PROGRAM STAFF

sign language

Ethan began attending University of Michigan Dearborn for business in 2022.  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 has been on staff since 2020.
 
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.
 
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.

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Cooper Schultz

PROGRAM STAFF

theatre 101

Cooper Schultz first enrolled in the Summer Enrichment Program in 2009. He has been with the program every summer since. Cooper volunteered for the program for several seasons before being hired onto staff in 2019.
 
The Summer Enrichment Program played a huge part in Cooper’s childhood and kick-started his passion for acting. It has taught him a lot about himself, as well as many useful skills.

 

Cooper hopes to pass on all that he’s learned in order to make this summer the best it can be.

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Miranda Stepchuk

PROGRAM STAFF

dance

Miranda Stepchuk attends Hope College where she has the joy of being a dance major in pursuit of a career in dance. During the school year, she works as an assistant in the Hope Theater and Dance costume shop. She will graduate from Hope in 2024. After graduating, she plans to perform, choreograph, and teach dance!

Miranda has been a part of the Summer Enrichment Program since 2016, and she been choreographing and teaching dance to the students since 2020. 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.

In her free time, Miranda enjoys painting, journaling, sewing, and playing ukulele. She is always looking for new ways to express her creativity!

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Charlotte Thomas

PROGRAM STAFF

sign language

Charlotte Thomas is a student at South Lyon High School (Class of 2025). She has been a part of the program since 2018 as both a student and volunteer. 2023 will be Charlotte's first year on staff and she can't wait! 

 

Being in the Summer Enrichment Program kick-started her confidence and love for being on stage in her high school theater. She has always looked forward to the program and the new friendships she makes in it. 

 

She can't wait to share this same love for theater and confidence as a staff member this year!

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Jake Werner

PROGRAM STAFF

music

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!

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