Life Remodeled has nine youth-specific programs and initiatives offered at our opportunity hub, the Durfee Innovation Society (DIS): The Life Remodeled Youth Alliance (LRYA), L.I.T. Fridays, Career Visioning, DIS Fall Kickoff, the DIS Youth Collective, The Spin, The Locker Room, Open Gym, and Field Day. Below is a summary of each project:

members of the Life Remodeled Youth Alliance pose for a picture

Life Remodeled Youth Alliance

We offer leadership development through our Youth Alliance (LRYA), which is composed of high school students who hold our organization accountable to its student-centric priorities and inform our approach to youth programming. The LRYA currently serves as a liaison between Life Remodeled and students who attend both Durfee Elementary-Middle School and Central High School. The LYRA advocates for the needs and interests of youth in the surrounding neighborhood, informing Life Remodeled on the programming that should be offered at the Durfee Innovation Society.


This has been our most successful initiative that has continued to grow over the last two years. Our LRYA plan and execute all aspects of a monthly event (logistics, marketing, budgeting, decor, public speaking, etc.) on the fourth Friday of each month. Examples of these events include a Thanksgiving Dinner + Movie Night, Holiday Pajama Jam, Vision Board Party, Black History Month Bingo, Easter Egg Hunt, Silent Disco, etc.

Children gathered around santa claus at a L.I.T. Friday Event
A young girl smiling because she is happy to be tutored at the DIS

Math, Reading & School Attendance

We partner with select schools near our opportunity hubs to provide support services that increase math proficiency, reading proficiency, and school attendance. We build strong relationships with school leadership to understand their unique challenges in academic achievement and convene the right partners who can assist students in improving their skills in literacy and numeracy as well as their motivation to attend school regularly.

We are currently providing support to Durfee-Elementary Middle School, with the goal of them becoming the most improved non-application, K-8 school in DPSCD by 2025, particularly in the areas of math proficiency, reading proficiency, and school attendance.

Young man is excited for career training at the DIS

Career vision days and trips

Life Remodeled has more than 150 corporate partners who participate on our Business Advisory Board, a group that advises Life Remodeled on the best ways to engage corporate donors and volunteers in meaningful philanthropic work. These business leaders are leading a career visioning process where they are exploring the belief that “You can’t be what you can’t see.” They host an annual Career Vision Day where hundreds of corporate volunteers set up a career fair style event, but their goal is to expose the students to as many career opportunities as possible. Furthermore, we schedule field trips for high school students to visit these companies and see potential career opportunities first hand. The overall goal of the program is to show students job opportunities they may have never heard of before or may have thought were unattainable because they might not have seen a Person of Color in these roles/fields.

members of the Life Remodeled Youth Alliance pose for a picture


This two day interactive program annually in September invites all 800+ students from Durfee and Central to the DIS in order to recruit students for programs and introduce them to all the shared spaces in the building. Activities include food, obstacle courses and games in the gym and the Dive, arcade time, arts and crafts, and prize drawings.


Annually, Durfee Elementary-Middle School hosts a Field Day at the end of the school year (June), and it’s one of the only opportunities we have all year to engage ALL of the students at the K-8 school next door (about 500 students). This also allows us to engage with their parents at the end of the day.

Children gathered around santa claus at a L.I.T. Friday Event


The DIS Youth Collective, led by our Youth & Community Engagement Director, is comprised of the principal of Durfee/Central schools and all youth-serving tenant organizations at the DIS. The group meets quarterly to review data, report impact, discuss success and opportunities for improvement and explore ways to collaborate. The desired outcome of this collective is to see students participating in multiple programs at the DIS, leading to significant improvement in school performance. Here is a list of our youth-serving tenant organizations:
The Lawn Academy logo
Metro Detroit Youth Clubs logo
First Tee logo
Detroit United Lacrosse logo
Better Men Outreach logo
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit logo
Friends of the Children Detroit logo
Center for Success logo
Beyond Basics Literacy logo
JayBell Productions logo
In addition to the amazing youth programs that are housed within our opportunity hub on a long-term basis, we partner with other organizations throughout the year to offer pop-up programming. Pop-up programming allows us to partner with a plethora of nonprofit organizations across metro-Detroit to offer temporary programming ranging anywhere from one week to eight weeks, or more. To date, we have partnered with 12 nonprofit organizations to offer pop-up programming. Here is a list of our pop-up programming partners: Mosaic Youth Theatre, Detroit Food Academy, YouthTank Detroit, Suzuki Violin, Michigan Youth Basketball, Got Grief House, In sideOut Literary Arts, Eisenhower Dance Detroit, and Junior Achievement.



Based on data we have acquired from DPSCD leadership, the main reason students are truant from school is because many don’t have access to laundry facilities. Uniforms are required but also can be expensive, and because a majority of our students in this community live in poverty, they may not have multiple outfits. Because of this, we operate a totally free laundromat at the DIS, and we also provide detergent and dryer sheets. This benefit is offered to all Durfee/Central students and their families, and it’s an effective way to get students in the building as well as help us improve school attendance, which will lead to achievement of our goal to make Durfee Elementary-Middle School the most improved DPSCD school by 2025.


We’ve built a totally free arcade that’s used year round as an incentive for students at the neighboring schools as well as for any youth involved in programming at the DIS. The arcade is used as a reward for students who are consistently attending school as well as those who are participating in the youth programs at the DIS. This program area, like The Spin, helps to influence our goals around improving attendance and academic outcomes at the neighboring schools.


A year-long program to engage ages 8-18 in open gym on Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. The coaches/mentors are young, male tenants in our building who have already built strong relationships with the youth who attend open gym. We currently average 40 students weekly on Saturdays, and plan to expand to a weeknight open gym option.


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