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Student Leaders Find Creative Ways to Give Back at Oakside Prep Academy

They’re a small, determined group of young women who are honing their leadership skills while helping others. They’re the driving force behind Breaking G.L.A.S.S. (Girls Lead Achieve Support Succeed), a student-led leadership group.

The group at Oakside Preparatory Academy in Waterford Twp, Mich., is currently comprised of ninth and 10th-grade students. These inspiring women hold leadership activities throughout the school year along with fundraisers such as selling snacks and dollar jeans day to fund their projects.

Sherry DeVos is one of the group’s advisors but says the students are really the ones in charge.

Teens playing with an inflatable ball.

“They choose the fundraisers and the community projects they give to each year,” she said.

The group held several activities throughout the year including a recent mixer for middle school students.

“It had a summer theme with outside games, foot races, dance-offs, and even a beach volleyball court in the gym,” DeVos said. “There were also different tropical backdrops complete with props so the students could take fun photos.”

They also hosted a special brunch in celebration of Administrator and Office Appreciation Days.

Scholars playing on the gym floor.

“The girls decorated the room, then played the roles of hostess, waitress, and cook. They learned etiquette and how to build a great omelet,“ said DeVos.

Undoubtedly, one of the students’ most impactful projects this year was supplying the middle and high school restrooms with feminine hygiene products.

“I thought the feminine products were a good idea because we're a feminine group and we're here to support girls,” said student member Nataly Monjaras.

The positive impact of the project is felt throughout the school.

Scholars passing an inflatable ball.

“Most of the girls don't want to take the supplies to class, so it takes time to go back and forth to lockers, causing tardies - this helped immensely,” DeVos said. “For so many reasons the girls wanted to do this, and the students love that they do it.”
The members of Breaking G.L.A.S.S. also have smaller projects throughout the year including mentoring younger students, participating in Earth Day cleanup, and raising funds for students in need. They also attended leadership and empowerment workshops. 
Before the school year ended, the group held a retreat to look at the projects they completed and what they want to do for the next school year. They decided to continue the feminine hygiene project, add a welcoming committee to help new students get acclimated and participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build project.
 Students displaying bracelets.

Advisor Kristin Scaife says they also want to have a bigger celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We would like to have some of our girls who had a QuinceaƱera bring in their dresses and do some traditional dancing,” said Scaife. “We have also been reaching out to some guest speakers in the area.”
Due to increased interest from younger students, the group decided to add a junior chapter of Breaking G.L.A.S.S. They have high expectations for anyone wanting to join the group, but most of all they look for members who really want to be involved and are good role models.
 Students running.

Leadership from students like the members of Breaking G.L.A.S.S is just one reason Oakside Prep has outperformed the local district for the past seven years.
Nice job giving back to your school and community, ladies. Keep up the great work!
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About Oakside Prep Academy
Oakside Prep Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Waterford, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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