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Community & Civic Engagement : Bright Ideas

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Saginaw youth a FORCE for positive change

A young people's advisory board, part of the Saginaw Community Foundation, is making a difference. That's thanks in large part to a Kellogg grant which challenges the youth in the community to develop their own programs.

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.

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.

Encouraged to Think, Create, Write

826michigan is well known for its Robot Repair Store and writing center in downtown Ann Arbor (not to mention its fun, offbeat events). But did you also know they tutor and host workshops in Ypsilanti? From fiction to stage plays to poetry, volunteers at their Drop-In Teen Writing Workshop inspire kids to find expression through words.

The beautiful scars of Kinetic Affect bring healing to others

Slam poetry competitors turned business partners, the two men behind Kinetic Affect have found a way to connect with audiences of all kinds through their vulnerability. Zinta Aistars talks to them about their art and business.
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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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