Something for everyone in After School Programs at Patrick Henry High School

Something for everyone in After School Programs at Patrick Henry High School

Principal Yusuf Abdullah was emphatic about the importance of after school programming at Patrick Henry, “If a student leaves to go directly home at the end of a school day we haven’t done our job.” Abdullah explained the school’s drive to collect data from college access and community partners to engage every student. “We know our students develop friendships, skills and a sense of belonging that transfer to life, and life beyond graduation.”

Erin Fitze is the Staff Adviser for the Leos Program, a weekly service organization of Lions Clubs International that she coordinates with former State Representative Joe Mullery. She illustrated the unique passion of Henry students to serve those in need by saying, “On our first day of summer vacation in June we had 55 students working at Feed My Starving Children. Our students tell us  that they know what it’s like to not have money and food and they want to make sure no one else finds themselves in that situation.” Fitze continued, “I’m coming back for my 5th year because I’m drawn to be with students with such passion for helping others. This year our focus is on partnering with local elementary and middle schools to assist them with events like Loring Carnival and Olson Family Night.”

Amy Vilayrack returns for her 7th year in Boys and Girls Club/BEACONS—her 4th year as Site Director overseeing eight staff. “We know we’re making a difference. Our data shows our program directly contributes to Henry’s rising graduation rates. We currently have 300 students enrolled in the program—throughout the school year we expect enrollment to rise to over 500.”

Vilayrack is bullish about Teen Pathways, a program that incorporates program participation and fun with three milestones that ensure individual mastery of financial literacy, college readiness and vocational skills. Students are even rewarded with Visa Gift Cards upon the completion of each milestone. “In June, 71 seniors graduated from this program which begins their junior year. We’re expanding the philosophy of this program to students at Olson to ensure their preparation for success in high school.”

Vilayrack noted that for seven consecutive years a Henry senior has been named Youth of the Year, and been awarded a $20,000 scholarship by Al Lenzmeier, a former CFO at Best Buy and current Director on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs. Last year’s recipient, Lindsey Fatze (‘17) is currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

Jenna Vang (‘18) calls the Beacon Boys and Girls site at Henry a second home. “I do my homework here, help with Club tasks, and train to be a “Big Homie” for the Club’s annual camp for elementary and middle school students over the teacher convention days in October. This program motivated me to continue in the Post Secondary

Enrollment Option Program and linked me to a paid mentorship program through the Minnesota Department of Transportation that will launch me into my college course of study—civil engineering.”

The following are activities and clubs. For info contact Quinton Bonds, PR Coordinator at or 612-251-7779

American Indian Education, Anime/Manga Club, Avid Club, Asian Cultural Club, Asian Media Access Concert Band, Chess, College Possible, Debate, Drama Club, Gaming Club (cards) , Gay/Straight Alliance, Girl Scouts, Girls’ Coding, Girls in Action, Guitar, Herobotics FIRST Team 2500, Hmong Women’s Circle, Kick Boxing, Korean Club, Latino(a) Student Council, Leo’s (Youth Lion’s Club), Link Leaders, Mano a Mano (International Service), Marching Band, Math Team, Minneapolis Youth Congress, (The) Movement, National Honor Society, PHHS Newspaper, Orchestra, Piano/Keyboard, Pep Band, Pop Choir, Project Success, Senior Planning Committee, SMART Moves Mentorship, STEM Fair, String Orchestra, Student Government, TRIO: Upward Bound, Video Game Club, Weight Training, Women’s Strength and Conditioning.

Boys & Girls Club/BEACONS: Contact Amy Vilayrack, Site Director at or  612-695-7921.

All Styles Dance, Beat Box, Black Student Union, Boys’ Strength & Conditioning, Career Launch, Cooking Club, Drumline, Film Making (In Focus), Girls’ Fitness, Hoops 101, KPOP (Korean Culture), Keystone Leadership Team, Kickback Friday, Step Team, Teen Pathways, Yearbook.

Sports: Contact Guillaume Paek, Athletic Director at or 612-668-1947.

Fall: Cross Country Running (Women’s & Men’s), Football, Soccer, (Women’s & Men’s), Volleyball, Women’s Swimming, Women’s Tennis.

Winter: Alpine Skiing, Basketball (Men’s & Women’s), Men’s Swimming (Men’s & Women’s), Hockey, Gymnastics (Women), Nordic Skiing (Men’s & Women’s), Wrestling.

Spring: Badminton, Baseball, Softball, Golf (Men’s & Women’s), Men’s Tennis, Track & Field (Men’s & Women’s).   Credit Makeup Academics: Contact Henry counselor assigned to student, 612-668-2000 press 5.

 This article was written by Tom Murray and Susan Breedlove