Youth Mentoring Programs in Detroit

Kids and teens seeking a mentor, youth support services, or youth leadership programs can find it at various youth mentoring programs in Detroit.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to have a mentor to give you a pat on the back – a little extra encouragement and guidance in life. Students in Detroit seeking a mentor can get involved with one of the various youth mentoring programs in Detroit. Or, for kids searching youth development services that teach skills and provide support, Detroiters have those options, too. To help kids (and their parents) find these youth mentoring programs and leadership programs, we’ve compiled this guide.

Some are for kids who are struggling, others are for students looking to learn various skills and information. Be sure to call ahead and check that details have not changed. Know of any additional Detroit youth mentoring programs that fall under this category? Leave us a note in the comments.

Alternatives for Girls

  • Address: 903 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-361-4000
  • Cost: Free

This group for homeless, high-risk girls and young women avoids violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation. The group also provides these women access resources and opportunities to be safe, grow strong and make positive choices.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit

  • Address: 7700 Second Ave., Suite 602, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-309-0500
  • Cost: Call for details

Site- and school-based programs are offered for elementary, middle and high school youth. With this organization, students are paired with adult mentors from local corporations, and the volunteers meet with kids and participate in fun activities that explore education, career- and self-awareness, communication, decision-making, leadership, teamwork and academic success.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan

  • Auburn Hills, Matilda R. Wilson Club: 220 S. Squirrel Road
  • Detroit, Diehl Club: 4242 Collingwood Ave.
  • Detroit, NFL/YET Club at the Dauch Campus: 16500 Tireman St.
  • Detroit, Holden Club: 20100 Schoenherr Road
  • Detroit, Bloomer Club in Munger Pre-K-8 School: 5525 Martin St.
  • Highland Park: Fauver-Martin Club, 24 Ferris Ave.
  • Belleville, Donahey Club: 125 S. Edgemont St.
  • Romulus, Romulus Club, 36900 Wick Road
  • Phone: 248-522-4411
  • Cost: $50/year (individual membership fee). Scholarships available for youth in need.

Here, kids get involved with after-school programs and activities specifically focused on helping students with success in academics, making healthy lifestyle choices and developing good character. Students can partake in programs focused on the arts, character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation.

The program’s hours vary by location, and the program is open to students ages 6-18 enrolled in grades 1-12. Also, check out the Project STARS (Strategically Targeting At-Risk Students) program at Holden Club designed to provide academic intervention and mentoring for at-risk youth in Osborn.

Brightmoor Community Center

  • Address: 14451 Burt Road, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-531-0305
  • Cost: Free

Have a middle school student? The Brightmoor Community Center offers an “I’m Going to College” mentoring program specifically for these kids. Check out some of their other programs like Developing and Nurturing Community Empowerment – or D.A.N.C.E. – which provides at-risk youth with low-cost training in the arts and athletics.

Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance’s Cody Rouge Youth Council

  • Address: Don Bosco Hall Community Resource Center, 19321 W. Chicago St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-397-9280
  • Cost: free; must live, work, worship or participate in a youth group in Cody Rouge

Provides ages 12-18 an opportunity to engage in conferences, forums and workshops focused on education while developing leadership skills. The kids in the group host monthly youth nights to determine key community issues – and are trained to work with local, county, state and national political officials to address safety and quality education.

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Youth Program

  • Address: 1211 Trumbull St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-967-4880
  • Cost: Contact for details

For youth ages 11-19, learn more about robotics, take a week-long camping trip, silk-screen a T-shirt and more in various programs offered by the DHDC. The Summer Youth Program teaches youth ages 11-18 life skills, arts and crafts and recreation, and older youth ages 14-18 can apply for a work experience at employers in Detroit and earn a stipend.

Detroit Parent Network

  • Address: 726 Lothrop Road, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-309-8100
  • Cost: Most programs free to all members; $5 and five volunteer hours/annual membership

It’s not just about parents here. There’s programing for students, too, including college prep services, tutoring/homework help, the Project Graduation program and more.

Developing K.I.D.S.

  • Address: Don Bosco Hall Community Resource Center, 19321 W. Chicago St., Detroit
  • Phone: 888-294-6554, ext. 6
  • Cost: free

Kids and teens ages 5-18 are welcome to join The Prevention program. Here, they participate in development activities such as skill-building in employment, social interaction, conflict resolution and much more.

Eastside Community Network Youth on the Edge of Greatness

  • Address: 4401 Conner St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-571-2800
  • Cost: Free; must live on the east side of Detroit

Youth ages 11-18 can find programing after school and during the summer. The group has a full curriculum on substance abuse prevention, conflict resolution, community service and environmental awareness – even financial literacy and computer coding. Another perk: Meals/snacks and free field trips included.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan

  • Address: 1333 Brewery Park Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 800-482-6734
  • Cost: Open to grades K-12; call for cost

Girls can get involved with the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, a premier development program for girls. Plus, they can learn financial literacy through the cookie program. Girls seeking mentors can find that in the adult volunteers, who are also role models.

Ingenuity College Preparatory Institute

  • Addresses: P.O. Box Suite 32408, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-454-1077
  • Cost: Costs vary per program; financial assistance available. To apply for tuition scholarship, email

Not only will students find college prep opportunities through Ingenuity along with career readiness programs, but the programs also give kids positive mentorship. Check into their variety of programming for students in sixth through 12th grade. Rolling admission and year-round programs.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project’s Citywide Poets

  • Address: Wayne State University, State Hall Building, 5143 Cass Ave., Room 225, Detroit (mailing address); program location varies
  • Phone: 313-577-4601
  • Cost: Free

Teens 13-18 can join this after-school program for mentorship by adult poets with strong credentials. Youth perform at various venues, see their work in an anthology and compete to attend a national youth poetry slam.

Midnight Golf Program

  • Address: 30100 Telegraph Road, Suite 404, Bingham Farms
  • Phone: 248-792-9438
  • Cost: Free

Programs combine golf and life skills like job readiness and college tours for 17-18 year olds. Participants are split into two cohorts, with one group meeting Mondays and Wednesdays and the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Next Steps, Inc.

  • Address: P.O. Box 06902
  • Phone: 313-870-9790
  • Cost: Contact for details; Donations accepted, must register. By appointment only.

You’ll find a lot of different services here, including life skills services, support groups, individual counseling and clothing for women and babies. For teen girls, ages 13-20, the “Real Deal” program includes topics like teen dating violence, body image and self-esteem, abstinence and safe sex, and STIs. The “Second Chances” teen mother program (up to age 21) discusses being a good parent, avoiding child abuse, balancing being a teen and the needs of the child and more.

Purposeful YOUth Detroit

  • Address: 1401 Broaway, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-207-1813
  • Cost: Contact for details

Purposeful YOUth Detroit seeks to empower, educate and inspire youth to identify their purpose and develop into productive and audacious leaders of the national and global community.

The Youth Connection, Inc.

  • Address: 4777 E. Outer Drive, Suite 1340, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-826-7099
  • Cost: Free

You’ll find programs and support services for the whole family here. For kids, the group helps with college and career readiness. Other support services include substance abuse prevention, family nutrition and exercise, and youth tutoring. Special attention to under-served youth.

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

  • Address: 8300 Longworth St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-841-4447
  • Cost: Must live in 48209 ZIP code. Costs vary based on program and/or household income.

A multitude of after-school programing is offered through UNI, including youth employment programs for teens 14-18 and youth leadership opportunities.

VIP Mentoring

  • Address: 7700 Second Ave., Suite 617, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-964-1110
  • Cost: Contact for details

VIP Mentoring has programs for both community-based mentoring and location-specific mentoring to fit into everyone’s schedule, and has been helping young people since 1980.


  • Address: 16742 Lamphere St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-255-9085
  • Cost: Contact for details

At this Detroit faith-based, nonprofit youth development organization, there’s a year-round Academic and Youth Development program, which offers tutoring and homework help along with youth development programming. Plus, it’s open to Detroit residents ages 6 through high school. Also offers a bi-weekly teen discipleship group for interested teens ages 12-18.

Youth Development Commission

  • Address: 1641 Porter St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-963-8916
  • Cost: Contact for details

The Youth Development Commission (YDC), formerly known as the Youth Sports and Recreation Commission, was established and incorporated in March 1995 as an initiative of the Skillman Foundation. The mission of services was to strengthen the quantity and quality of youth sports and recreational programs and facilities. The initial concept for YDC was derived from a two year study, “Re-Creating Recreation in the Cities of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park, Michigan”, conducted by Michigan State University.

Since 2005, YDC has shifted its focus to include direct services to youth with a focus toward College and Career Readiness.

This post was originally published in 2019 and is updated reguarly.

Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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