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Planting Seeds of Promise

Seeds of Promise, a Grand Rapids nonprofit organization that calls itself an urban community improvement laboratory, has recently received a grant to begin a self-sustaining, community-governance program in the area surrounding Dickinson School. Board President Ron Jimmerson explains their strategy.

Coming out: Undocumented students chase American DREAM

Local activists launched 1Michigan, bringing attention to the challenges of immigrant youth and advocating for the passage of the federal DREAM act. Amy Kuras reports.  

Voces helps Latino youths envision college and careers

The Latino and Hispanic community of Battle Creek has a place it can come together in Voces. Its mission is "many voices, one community" and now young people have a voice, too. Margaret DeRitter talks to Antonio "Tony" Carillo and others about his role in the organization and its role in his life.

Leaning into Change: Carlo Sweeney, Downtown Youth Boxing Gym

When he founded the boxing gym in 2005, Carlo Sweeney wanted to better engage Detroit youth. Mission being accomplished, reports Tunde Wey.

The Journey to Eliminate Racism

Is it possible to end racism? PRFC thinks so. Partners for a Racism-Free Community (PRFC) in Grand Rapids offers an organized and measured program to help individuals and organizations become racism-free.

Farming top-notch school nutrition

Want kids to eat fresh and healthy food? The Farm to School program promotes local food in schools and educates children on healthy eating.

Shelter From The Storm

Amidst the stories of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity it's sometimes easy to forget that there are those who face profound hardship. For instance, Oakland County, for all its prosperity, must contend with teens who have left or been forced from their homes. Kim North Shine takes a look at the shelters and services that help struggling youth find a place in our community.

The Education Issue

With school just around the corner for many Michigan children, we’re profiling education initiatives across the state and encouraging our Detroit area readers to attend our Innovation in Education panel discussion tonight. 

Summer Jobs: GRCF helps youth find that first job

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, connects nonprofits with youth looking for summer jobs. The result is a win-win, with benefits lasting far beyond the summer.

TC Chamber's Doug Luciani knows the value of Michigan's kids

Traverse City’s Chamber President Doug Luciani walks his talk when it comes to Michigan children and shares his thoughts on how communities and businesses can help.

'Emerging Leaders' program preps young girls for future success

Leadership training, career exploration and goal setting are all part of the Mercy Education Project. Melinda Clynes reports.

Ele's Place: Healing Through Listening

A positive fixture in the Lansing community for over 20 years, Ele’s Place is now nationally recognized for their work in helping countless children heal and cope with grief. In January, the organization received a $25,000 grant from The New York Life Foundation to use toward their efforts in expanding the success of their unique program to new Michigan communities. Whether it’s listening to the needs of a community or those of a grieving child, Ele’s Place is clearly doing something very right.

U.P. summer camp helps disabled children meet their goals

Bay Cliff Health Camp is more than just a summer camp for disabled children; it inspires these children to work toward realistic goals and allows them to be surrounded by other children who accept them for who they are. Lucy Hough learns more about how Bay Cliff helps these children become more independent.

Nutritional values: Rachelle Bonelli and the Gleaners mission

When people think of Gleaners, programs like Kids Helping Kids, Cooking Matters, and No Kid Hungry probably don't come to mind. They will now, says Noelle Lothamer. 

Burmese Americans find a home in Battle Creek

More than 30 years ago the first family from Burma came to Battle Creek. Now the city has a thriving Burmese community. Jane C. Parikh reports on recent steps being taken to make them feel more at home and strengthen their ties to the area.
125 Articles | Page: | Show All
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Bright Ideas


Can systemic racism impact infant mortality?

Even when controlling for poverty, education level, and tobacco use of a mother, maternal and infant health outcomes are far worse for minority populations than European-American women. What's causing the continued disparities? And what can West Michigan do to ensure all babies born here have the best chance of reaching their potential? Zinta Aistars reports on Strong Beginnings, one local program working to give all families a fair start.

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Company Supports 4th Grade Field Trips to Lake Michigan

Parents working more than one job or odd hours, a lack of funds, and no transportation often prevent kids from experiencing one of Michigan’s incredible natural resources. For the majority of west side Grand Rapids elementary school kids, Lake Michigan is sadly out of reach. OST has teamed up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to give fourth-graders at west side schools the opportunity to experience the big lake firsthand.


Youth Decide Where Grant Dollars are Spent

For Grand Rapids students who serve as trustees-in-training on the GRCF Youth Grant Committee, giving back to the community goes hand in hand with empowering students to succeed. 
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