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Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell All

Join Michigan Nightlight this month in Detroit and Grand Rapids for a special speakers series event, Jumping Ship: Leaders Who Left the Corporate Sector for the Social Sector. 

Turning the Tide on Typical Low-Income Housing

Homes+Services, a pilot program of Neighborhoods, Inc. of Battle Creek, approaches housing in a holistic way; it partners with others for job training, education and financial counseling.

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.

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.

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.

Paula Brown

Paula Brown is excited to be the new executive director of Reading Works, an umbrella organization that provides resources to partner nonprofits that are delivering quality literacy programs in metro Detroit. She works with these partners to reach more adult learners and to accurately measure and report on their collective success, with a common goal of bringing every adult up to a minimum ninth grade reading level.

Ann Kalass

When Ann Kalass, chief executive officer of Starfish Family Services in Inkster, was growing up, she realized early on that not all children had the same opportunities as she did. Today, she’s driven to make sure vulnerable kids get the education they need to start off life with a strong footing.

Amanda Good

Concerned about the safety, security, and futures of homeless and vulnerable young women and girls, Amanda Good, CEO of Alternatives For Girls, has been leading efforts in Detroit to provide support, shelter, help, and hope to at-risk youth for a quarter of a century.

Michele Legleitner

Michele Legleitner is program director for Runaway and Homeless Youth Regional Alliance, a fledgling organization that formed last year to better meet the needs of runaway, homeless, and disconnected youth in metro Detroit. She is charged with keeping the four alliance members working together, sharing data and infrastructure costs, and meeting their defined objectives.

Lisa Machesky

As executive director of the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, Lisa Machesky sees daily the growing divide between rich and poor. She envisions a future where every child has an equal chance for success, and Baldwin Center’s enrichment and education programs for kids and basic needs assistance for families mean Pontiac children have a better footing for the future.

Sharon Loughridge

As executive director of Grand Rapid’s D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s, the largest child welfare agency in west Michigan, Sharon Loughridge, believes that many of the barriers facing vulnerable children can be torn down by a human hand. D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s 22 programs work to keep families in tact, but when children can no longer stay in their homes it also provides shelter, foster care, and adoption services. 

Lynn Whalen

On a daily basis, Lynn Whalen, women’s advocate at Mel Trotter Ministries, sees women experiencing life-changing transformation. Serving homeless people in the Grand Rapids area, Whalen oversees the agency’s shelter for women and children. 

Chris Sargent

Chris Sargent embodies a focused, collaborative leadership style. As vice president and chief operating officer of The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, he believes that solutions come from the collective efforts of people with knowledge and passion to create change – including the direct recipients of programs United Way supports.  

Laurie Strauss Baumer

Marrying her passion for volunteerism and being the creator of your own opportunity, Ele’s Place President and CEO Laurie Strauss Baumer shares how her organization uses relationships as pavers in the road to success. 

Janet McPeek

Janet McPeek brings her extensive work as a psychologist, and a passion for changing outcomes for vulnerable kids, to her position leading Crossroads for Youth and its many youth programs. Educating the public and promoting the value of each at-risk young person is the focus that drives her to study, modify, and improve Crossroads initiatives. 
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Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell All

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FTmaternalcare

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.

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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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