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Employment and Job Training Features


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. 

TeenQuest thumb

TeenQuest helps future employees stand out above the crowd

As the economy continues to straighten itself out, there is no doubt any edge a first-time employee can get on entering the working world is important. TeenQuest is here to help.


Students Design Solutions for Neighborhood

Students at the GRPS Academy of Design and Construction are getting in on the ground floor, so to speak, as they partner with Habitat Kent to envision, design, and eventually build a mixed-use development right in their own community. 

Student at Denby High

Building Networks for Job Success

Youth Employment Solutions and the Detroit Youth Development Commission's employment program help young people in Detroit develop skills needed to find jobs and prepare themselves for a better future. 

U of M School of Social Work professor Susan Crabb

U-M Field Social Workers Benefit Nonprofits

More than just a well-respected educational institution, U-M's School of Social Work assigns hundreds of students to work for and with nonprofits throughout Washtenaw County. Those students have become a uniquely powerful community asset, offering much-needed support to local organizations and acting as ambassadors for new ideas and strategies.
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Heaster Wheeler

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.

Leah Kelley

With collaboration and positive social change in the driver’s seat, Leah Kelley of Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing is motivating youth to think more about their role in creating positive shifts in community health. She leads the center’s Youth Service Corps, which engages community youth in food access projects through hands-on work and learning activities. 

Jen Rusciano

When Jennifer Rusciano was in fourth grade, she explored the origins of her favorite chocolate bar, connecting it to cocoa farms in Ghana. Years later, a college fellowship led her to live and work in small-scale cocoa farming communities around the world, exploring the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. After that, she joined FoodCorps in Michigan for two years, and eventually helped develop Detroit Food Academy, where she currently serves as executive director of operations. 

Dona Abbott

Dona Abbott, branch director at Grand Rapids’ Bethany Christian Services, is a leader with many goals – all with happy, loving children and families at the forefront. When faced with demanding challenges that necessitate change, Abbott does not shy away from the resolve it takes to make changes that help and protect those she serves.  

Emilio Zamarripa

As a young man, Emilio Zamarripa helplessly watched two close friends drop out of high school. Good kids. Not the failures or ‘losers’ that society branded them afterward. Quite simply, they had no support systems. Zamarripa, a youth advocate for the Honoring our Youth program at Steepletown Neighborhood Services in Grand Rapids, is occasionally haunted by that memory, but it’s part of what pushed him to realize that no child is lost, ever.
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Employment and Job Training Research & Reports

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