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Young Social Entrepreneur Society

The Young Social Entrepreneur Society serves more than 200 K-12 youth from Detroit’s North End. Its unique blend of education, entrepreneurship, and employment skills training means that vulnerable kids who complete the program leave armed with real-life skills to carry them throughout life and into a prosperous, successful adulthood.

Detroit Food Policy Council

When Detroit City Council in 2009 adopted a Policy on Food Security that called for a hunger-free, food secure city; a sustainable food system that provided high quality food and jobs; and a food system that contributed to the long-term health of the environment – they also called for the formation of the Detroit Food Policy Council. Today, the council is a leader in food systems reform. 

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

Founded in 2006, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network is a coalition working to bring greater food security to Detroit’s African American communities through education, awareness and action. One of their projects, D-Town Farms, is the largest urban farm in the city of Detroit.

Healthy Kids and Kidneys

Engaging middle schoolers in thinking about how to protect their long-term health can be a challenge. The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Healthy Kids and Kidneys program effectively relates health lessons to students’ real lives and helps them set goals. 

Step-Beyond Program

Youth transitioning from foster care into adulthood need help, and that’s what they get from the Step-Beyond Program in Detroit. Participants -- ages 17 through 21 -- receive much-needed life skills and workforce training, counseling, education, and a safe place to call home.

Colors Restaurant

As people spend more money on meals prepared away from home, opportunities for decent-paying jobs in the restaurant industry increase - but trained workers are needed to take those opportunities. Colors Restaurant in Detroit, a program of the Restaurant Opportunity Center of Michigan, serves as both a hands-on training center and a full service, locally focused restaurant. 

Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force

A devoted assembly of community members -- influential political, educational, faith and law enforcement individuals; parents; and students included -- make up the Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force. The force aggressively addresses alcohol and substance abuse issues – especially among local youth.

The Next Urban Chef

The Next Urban Chef is a visionary new program that educates Detroit youth about food systems and sustainability, while simultaneously teaching hands-on cooking skills. The five-month program culminates in a culinary competition where students work in tandem with noted local chefs to prepare a meal with all locally sourced ingredients.

Detroit Youth Food Brigade

The Detroit Youth Food Brigade brings Detroit teens together with local businesses to sell their products at local farmers’ markets. Students of the program also serve as interns for the participating food businesses, gaining job skills and an understanding of where food comes from before hitting stores and markets. 

Double Up Food Bucks

Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks benefit Michigan’s low-income shoppers and local growers. SNAP participants use their Michigan Bridge Card to buy eligible food items at any participating Double Up Food Bucks farmers’ market and receive matching dollars to buy even more produce for their families. 

The Reconnecting Disconnected Youth Project

It takes tenacious hope to believe in students who have dropped out of standard school programs. Heidi Cate of Lighthouse Academy in Grand Rapids discusses her organization’s Reconnecting Disconnected Youth Project and her staff’s ferocious faith in their students. 

Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Immigration is a hot button political issue, but the attorneys of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center look at their work not as a political statement, but as means to help people who are fighting against long odds to make a better life for themselves and their families. 

Regional Youth Justice Consortium

Bringing together youth from all across metro Detroit, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion’s Regional Youth Justice Consortium engages youth in meaningful work for change while building real, sustainable relationships with people they may otherwise never meet. 

Partners for a Racism-Free Community

Partners for a Racism-Free Community is a collaboration formed to abolish racism in greater Grand Rapids. Through a credentialing program for organizations and community-focused workshops, this group is helping to dispel judgmental attitudes and build a more tolerant, compassionate community to raise children.

Pay It Forward Initiative

The Pay It Forward Initiative takes an innovative approach to helping underserved populations find employment. It identifies opportunities with employer partners and then underwrites a 16-week internship for clients. Job training, business and finance classes, counseling, and help with overcoming any barriers to employment are part of the package.
152 Articles | Page: | Show All
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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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