Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women in Detroit
The Ferguson Academy for Young Women is an alternative high school located in Detroit, MI. They provide education and resources for pregnant teens, grades 9-12. Many of the teens come from underprivileged backgrounds and are faced with daily challenges that infringe upon their educational opportunities. The Catherine Ferguson Academy strives to provide quality education in order to ensure a bright future for each child. The goal of the principal and teachers at the academy is to prevent the pregnancy cycle from reoccurring in the next generation of infants. Lots used for farming and a barn built by the students lie adjacent to the school. The barn houses a variety of farm animals that the students help care for.
The Ferguson Academy is open to any high school age pregnant teen that lives in Detroit. They hold a citywide baby showers in order to encourage teen mothers and pregnant teens who were not attending school, to enroll in their program. Each student must be accepted to a two year college or four year university before they are eligible to graduate.
The academy offers many features to encourage the success of their students. Some of the amenities include childcare and hands-on interactive techniques. The school offers choir, sports, and holds special events for the teens. The kids have the opportunity to attend movie and lunch outings, and are able to attend a high school dance facilitated by the staff. The principal and staff of the Catherine Ferguson Academy do their best to ensure that their students are prepared for standardized college exams. Tutoring programs for the ACT and MEAP are available after school.
The majority of pregnant teens drop out because they have no access to childcare. The academy offers a fully equipped nursery, complete with cribs high chairs, and refrigerators. In order to accommodate the students’ parental obligations outside of class, the academy provides onsite medical clinics and WIC services. The students are conveniently able to attend class and care for their babies in the same environment. The principal and staff at the Catherine Ferguson academy encourage students to implement interactive learning techniques while they care for the infants. Many of the students enjoy reading to their children in the nursery’s soothing environment.
The students follow the normal curriculum established by the Detroit School District. They have additional access to college preparatory and career courses and electives.
Some of the following include:
- Home Repair
- Fine Arts
The school has an Urban Farming course under the direction of science teacher Paul Weertz. The students learn how to grow and nurture plants in an urban environment. Fresh produce is often scarce in urban environments and too costly for financially burdened students. Ninety percent of the student body qualify for free or reduced meals. As a result of this farming program, 100 percent of the students have access to fresh produce that is often unavailable to many of the teens.
The school is named after Catherine Ferguson, a famous freed slave who lived in New York in the early 1800’s, until her death in 1854. Although illiterate, she has been accredited as one of the largest promoters of education in impoverished areas of New York. The school began in the Salvation Army with a few desks and a playpen. Principal Andrews arrived in 1985, and has worked hard to increase enrollment and funding. The school is now located downtown on Seldon street, and was named a “Breakthrough High School” by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
If you are interested in attending the Catherine Ferguson Academy For Young Women, contact the main office at:
The school address is:
2750 Selden St.
Detroit, MI 48208.