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Making Piano Accessible for All Kids

Piano Labs gives some of Kalamazoo’s most vulnerable kids and young adults a chance to make music and become pianists. 

Fighting for Better Outcomes in Delray

Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition formed in response to plans for an international bridge development in the Delray neighborhood. Better park maintenance and a safer environment for local kids will help remedy the impact.

Teens Transform Raw Ideas into Poignant Performances

At Matrix School of Theatre in southwest Detroit, young people write and perform original plays that entertain and educate, bringing to the stage crucial issues in their lives. 

Supporting Girls in Technology

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology unites technology-minded girls and women of all age groups, inspiring and nurturing their interests and careers. 

The Fine Art of Parenting

Hardest job in the world? You betcha. Parenting Communities in Leelanau County helps with the challenges of parenting young children and preparing them for school success. 

Black Family Development's Faithful Shepherd

With faith, hard work, and strong partnerships, CEO Alice Thompson helps kids and families in southeast Michigan handle challenges with a holistic, culturally sensitive approach.

In Pursuit of a Fitter Detroit

Reid Thebault has spent 40 years with the YMCA -- the last 20 in metro Detroit -- and will retire later this year. While he presided over a period of expansion for the Y, he considers his true legacy to be the organization's risk-taking culture.

2020 Girls: Empowering Future Leaders in Science and Math

The 2020 Girls program develops a passion for STEM studies and careers in young girls in the Lansing area, engaging girls in traditionally male fields of study. 

Hip-Hop: Unifying Detroit Youth

Hip-hop gets a bad reputation, but a look outside the mainstream, at a small but powerful program for Detroit youth, provides a whole different view.

The Common Bond of Fatherhood

Grand Rapids’ dads, both new and seasoned, come together for learning and encouragement with the Proud Fathers Program. 

Family-Type Support for Foster Youth

An innovative program, Blue Babies, is reinventing foster care service in Michigan by providing round-the-clock family-type care and letting kids steer programming. Its work has helped create a community of foster care youth and alumni that help one another even after they age out of the system.

Impacting Wellness through Community Health Workers

Smart, caring, and with a keen eye on families, former Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom believes that community health workers are one route to improving public health and reducing health inequities in our most disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

Power Brokers Listen Up: Invest in Families

Heaster Wheeler speaks up for people when the promise of equal opportunity rings hollow. Renewed investment in Detroit means little if people in the neighborhoods don't benefit.

Michigan Nightlight: New, Improved

While remaining true to our mission to provide solutions, news and inspiration for those working to impact the lives of Michigan kids, Michigan Nightlight is pleased to unveil a new, enhanced format and other site improvements.

Putting Vacant Housing to Good Use

The 19:1 Campaign in Grand Rapids is all about turning vacant houses into functioning residences for homeless families who need them.
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Michigan Nightlight relaunches: Here's where to find us across Michigan

GreenFist Project at Sprout Urban Farms

How Motivated Kids and Better Food Access Fit Together

Stuart Ray, Mindy Ysasi, Mike Kerkorian, Ellen Carpenter from Grand Rapids' Nonprofits

Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell 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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