Year-Round After-School Programming



Our Year-Round PERCS after school program was founded 3 years into DHP’s inception with the aim of expanding learning opportunities for Detroit youth. For the past few years, end of summer surveys showed a clear need: over 90% of students were interested in year round horse access. Our students asked, and we delivered! In 2017, we launched our first year of PERCS class, a creative acronym a DHP student came up with to summarize our core social-emotional learning traits: Perseverance, Empathy, Responsible Risk Taking, Confidence, and Self - Control. Starting with 13 students during our first year, we’ve since expanded our program to be able to accommodate 30 youth.

“The activities, conversations, and projects about responsible risk-taking helped
me grow by making me more confident at trying new things.”
— PERCS Youth
“My growth in self-control will help at home, school and DHP because when a
situation comes and makes me feel negative in a way I’ll know strategies to calm
down or change the situation.”
— PERCS Youth

The Program

Our program meets twice per week at our classroom space hosted by the Durfee Innovation Society. Twice a month, students visit partner equestrian facilities, ensuring that youth have year-round riding opportunities, continued exposure to various equestrian disciplines, career development opportunities, and more.

Throughout the year, our meetings empower students to deepen their engagement with the PERCS traits in all corners of their lives through a unique action-reflection based learning model. Classroom based projects involving elements of small and large group discussion as well as individual and group projects foster collaboration and team work. Most importantly, this classroom work bolsters students’ experiences on horses, creating space and positive, productive frameworks to reflect on and grow from their twice monthly riding.

We are committed to making our program accessible for all Detroit youth. Our programs, free of charge, mitigate barriers to entry whenever possible. We provide youth with transportation, healthy meals and snacks, a warm, welcoming environment, and an ever growing network of additional Detroit based supports that we can refer to families when needed.

“[The program] taught me to never give up even if I feel like quitting. [DHP] taught me so much that I can’t even explain to be honest.”
— PERCS Youth

Get Involved

We are always looking for help. Whether as a volunteer, a donor, or a community advocate, any and all support helps bolster and solidify our current programs while furthering our long term goal - construction of an urban equestrian center that facilitates increased year-round horse access for Detroit youth.