An Update for Friends of Highfields · July 8, 2015
Judge Garcia Gives Leigha a Second Chance

   Leigha knew she could talk to her mom about anything. But, at age 15, when she told her mom that she drank, smoked marijuana and skipped school, her mother wasn't happy.

   In fact, "she was disgusted with me," Leigha said.

   When she had to go to court for her truancy, she knew it was her chance to turn things around. Judge Garcia told her she needed to pick an alternative high school to attend - and that she would have to write a letter to the school to get accepted.

   "I was hoping I got accepted to Ingham Academy so I could turn my life around," she said. "I probably wouldn't be anywhere if I didn't write that letter."

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When Domestic Violence Comes Home

   Alissa had seen first-hand the effects violence and emotional disturbance can have on children and families. She worked at Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter for five years. But when it began to happen in her own family, she was facing a familiar situation from an unfamiliar position.

    Alissa had just moved into a new house with her young family and fiancé. They were happy - but her 10-year-old son, Jordan, wasn't. His father was in prison and the new house and family didn't sit well with him.

   "I wasn't going to school," Jordan said. "I was fighting with my mom and sister. I was yelling and breaking things."

   He went to counseling, spent a weekend at an out-of-home placement and was put on Prozac. But his violence continued to escalate. One day, Jordan held a knife to himself - and then to Alissa. Alissa went to Community Mental Health and was referred to Highfields' Family Preservation Program.

Board Profile: Anethia Brewer
Program Committee Chair Loves to Help Kids
    As a teenager, Anethia Brewer was fascinated with the Kennedys, politics, and with how organizations formed. She decided early on that she wanted to go into public administration.

   In college, another interest developed: helping kids. She began working at youth camps during her summer breaks. When she completed her master's degree in organizational development and labor management, she began working at Starr Commonwealth, a residential treatment program, similar to Highfields, in Albion.

   The stories she learned there left a big impact on her. She was shocked to hear about how some of the kids grew up. She remembers one boy in particular.

   "I became very attached to one student from Flint," she said. "The only reason he ended up at Starr was he was stealing from the corner store to feed his family. His mom was a drug addict."

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In This Issue:
Upcoming Events
Ingham Academy Graduation

Join us on Wednesday, July 22 to celebrate the Ingham Academy Class of 2015!

2:00 p.m.

Ingham Academy
1601 W. Holmes Road
Lansing, MI 48910
2015 Annual
Garden Gala

The Garden Gala takes place the day after Ingham Academy's graduation every year and features fresh produce grown in our 4-H Youth Garden. Dinner will be prepared by Capitol Prime's Executive Chef.

6:30 p.m.

Ingham Academy
1601 W. Holmes Road
Lansing, MI 48910

RSVP is required for this event. If you would like to attend as Highfields' guest, please contact Bev McGill at (517) 628-2287, ext. 337 or
Our Zip Line is Open!

Come ride our double zip line at our Onondaga Campus! $15 per person for unlimited rides. Please sign up by the Thursday before your zip line weekend.

Available days:
  • July 18 & 19
  • Aug. 22 & 23
  • Sept. 12 & 13
  • Oct. 17 & 18
Please RSVP at:

Or call:
(517) 628-2287, ext. 202.
Strengthening Families Fundraising Breakfast

Our annual Strengthening Families Fundraising Breakfast will be held this year on Thursday, October 29 at the Kellogg Center. Come for breakfast, for inspirational stories and for good company - all before 9:00! 
For more information, please contact Bev McGill at or (517) 628-2287, ext. 332.
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Onondaga Campus
5123 Old Plank Road
Onondaga, MI, 49264
(517) 628-2287
Lansing Office
4305 S. Cedar Street
Lansing, MI, 48910
(517) 887-2762
Jackson Office
1206 Clinton Road
Jackson, MI, 49202
(517) 783-4250
Howell Office
204 S. Highlander Way
Suite 3
Howell, MI, 48843
Hillsdale Office
51 S. Howell Street
Hillsdale, MI, 49242