History of DABO


DABO has developed and administered the following major programs, the Detroit Cares Alternative Academy (an alternative high school), Project New Start (An Adult Education and Literacy Center), the Leadership Training and Organizational Development Program (Developing and training new non-profits in core functional competencies), Project First Steps, (a pre and post natal infant health, parenting, and teen pregnancy prevention program for to be and new teen mothers and fathers, Show Some Sign of Success (SOS) Program, (an intensive ATOD in-school youth substance abuse and gang intervention project), and Project Self Sufficiency, a program for unemployed individuals ages 16-21, high school drop outs, pregnant and parenting young adults,  and ex-offender that offers specialized classes in computer training, customer service skills, GED preparation, building trades, career development, and life skills.


DABO developed, administered, and secured the initial funding from the Robert Johnson Foundation for the first two school based health centers in the Detroit Public Schools, Northern and Northwestern. DABO, even after its opening, continued to be responsible for the parental engagement component of both centers.


In addition to this DABO created the original BUY Detroit Campaign, formed the Detroit Inter-Ethnic Coalition to promote racial harmony in the wake of the Vincent Chinn homicide, speared a “Crack House” Registry that gathered information on drug dens that was passed onto the Detroit Police Department, operated Adult Education Centers that also taught English as a second language, and for the last several years provided alternative education to over 2,000 youth ages 16-20 through its Last Chance Academy and Detroit Cares Alternative Academy.



Current Programs and Projects


Show Some Sign of Success (SSSS) is our school-based prevention program designed to reduce students’ intention to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs that DABO continues provides for grades 6-12 for both public and private schools in Detroit.  SSSS has a separate, developmentally appropriate curriculum for each grade level that builds skills sequentially. The program provides education in social and emotional competencies and reduces risk factors while building protective factors that affect students in that particular age group. Instructional strategies include role-plays, modeling, practicing, reinforcing, providing feedback, and promoting the generalization of skills to other contexts—all of which promote cooperative learning and skill building. SSSS provides normative education, teacher tips, and a parent component in order to make both the school and family environments more supportive of drug-free choices.


Show Some Sign of Success is also DABO’s school-based violence prevention/character education program that improves student behavior and minimizes aggression. It is designed to help students learn the skills they need to get along peacefully with others. In both content and teaching methods, the program teaches students positive attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It builds skills sequentially and at each grade level provides developmentally appropriate curricula designed to address the most significant risk and protective factors.


First Steps is a program which addresses teen pregnancy, infant mortality, and co-parenting for youth who still attend high school. First Steps provides information to our participants dealing with the documented consequences of teenage parenting and the benefits of encouraging both parents playing an active and prescribed role in the child’s development.  It specifically seeks to educate both parents in how to assist in promoting positive health and a positive environment for the child regardless of the status of their relationship.


The students benefit from the First Steps program because the mother and father are educated together about quality parenthood, important prenatal and postnatal care, and other critical issues that determine the health of their children.  They are taught how to reduce conflict within their relationship, if necessary, to allow for increased health outcomes for their child.   The teen parents also receive necessary referrals to access quality health care for their pregnancy and newly born infants, which will also lead to increased health and quality of life for the children.   In addition, the information that they receive through the program will also lead to the deterrent of future teenage pregnancies.  Also, the information that the students learn from the health education training component allows them to become peer educators to other students within their school and their communities, who they will educate about teenage pregnancy and the related consequences.  The hope is that this will lead to decreased numbers of teenage parents.


LTP - The Leadership Training and Organizational Development Program offers a broad range of classes to community leaders, neighborhood residents and organizational leadership, improving their ability to effectively address community issues. The classes include How To Become A Non-Profit, How To Prepare a Proposal, Fund Accounting, and Program Design and Evaluation. The program arms leaders with the skills necessary to lead their organizations with a sharpened focus toward reaching set goals. And through collaboration with the Wayne County Community College District students receive one full college level transferable credit for every completed class.


Project Self Sufficiency targets unemployed individuals ages 16-21 who may or may not have graduated from high school, GED holders, pregnant and parenting young adults and ex-offenders. This project offers specialized classes in computer training, customer service skills, GED preparation, career development and life skills through a progressive program that combined work readiness with career development.


Project New Start targets youth and adults ages 16-30 who have dropped out of school and who possess significant barriers to securing and maintaining long term employment. Project New Start provides educational remediation aimed to assist them in securing their GED and job training. It also provides life skills counseling, job readiness skills, and occupational training and job placement for general laborers, cosmetology, and janitorial trainees. 


Knight Writers is a project that provides media internships for Metropolitan Detroit high school students and trains these individuals in radio and television pre production, production, and post production.  The Knight Writers, who focus is first on writing skills, create, named, air, and evaluate their own live and recorded television and radio segments. Such segments like “Teen Talk” and Strictly Sports” are produced and aired either in a live or recorded format that airs on WADL TV Detroit and WCHB AM 1200.

Additionally, all Knight Writers do pre production relevant research for each aired segment by contacting and involving various organizations and peers who are either affected or interested in the topics to be aired. This component is designed to move beyond the mere effective packaging of information to its dissemination and ultimately to its interned end of affecting outcomes related to it.

The ultimate goal of the Knight Writers is twofold: one, is to provide quality hands on experience to students and interns in the mass communication field; and, two, is to train these potential radio and television journalists in how to use that profession to bring about community transformation, to foster community mobilization, and to learn how to discover and disclose relevant issues of social impact for writing and reporting purposes.




The Sheffield Center serves as an organizational incubator where over three (3) fledging non-profits are housed in free standing offices, and where thirty five (35) local non-profit and community based organizations are provided a monthly meeting space, technical assistance, and access to our leadership training program.


DABO.s Mass Communications mechanisms has taken the form its DABO own internet radio station (www.Detroitcaeseradio.com), which broadcasts with student and community programming 24/7,  our live radio broadcast on radio, On the Line on WCHB AM 1200, and via television Real Talk aired on WADL Channel 38. All of these present daily and weekly informational, educational, and community orientated programming. Both the radio and television shows have featured program participants and staff, as well as commercials, promoting and advertising the services of all of our programs.


In addition to these mass communication modalities DABO has also built a database of more than 10,000 persons who have attended our events, been in our programs, or who have made contact with our organization. Through Constant Contact we are able to send regular email blast to this data base and have a high open and response rate.




Major Accomplishments


Received a Michigan Department of Education Charter Planning Grant and successfully completed all components of Phase I and Phase II with an exceptional rating.

Developed and secured funding from the Robert Johnson Foundation for the administration for the first two school based health centers in the Detroit Public Schools, Northern and Northwestern.

Developed a foundation funded Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program focused on male responsibility called Father’s First.

Developed and was funded by the Neighborhood Builder’s Alliance of the State of Michigan to recruit, train, and place all community volunteers for the Detroit Compact.

Developed and administered the Alliance For A Safer Detroit which organized and operated the Freeway Courtesy Patrol.

Developed and administered two Adult Education Centers on the east and west side of the city of Detroit.


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