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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. 

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.

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.

Peggy Roberts

Power of We Consortium coordinator Peggy Roberts works to improve conditions and access to resources for Ingham, Clinton and Eaton County’s most underserved populations – with social justice, equity and sustainability always at the forefront. 

Mary Gehrig

Mary Gehrig, superintendent for early childhood services at Calhoun Intermediate School District, hesitates to take accolades for her accomplishments; she gladly hands them to her associates. They are the ones, she says, who put visions, plans, ideas, and initiatives into motion to help young people.

Casey Stratton

Casey Stratton, music program coordinator and instructor at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth, strongly believes that music is important to all cultures as a way of expression and to keep their stories alive. He is helping youth create their own stories as they learn music and build relationships with caring adults through the Music Makers program. 

Kathy Catania

Decades ago, Kathy Catania and her husband Jerry laid the groundwork for today’s Benton Harbor arts district. Their pride and joy is housed inside a Victorian building, circa 1898, now home to Main Street Glassworks, where glass is blown, children grow, and art is internationally renowned.

Bonnie Billups, Jr.

Bonnie Billups, Peace Neighborhood Center executive director, is an alumnus who has been involved with Peace since he first participated at ten years old. Billups is a successful, college-educated, professional product of the center’s efforts to keep kids on the right track – a living example of the organization’s long-time efforts to help at-risk Ann Arbor area children achieve their dreams through prevention and education.

Frank McGhee

As the leader of Neighborhood Service Organization’s Youth Initiative Project (YIP), Frank McGhee sees the potential of young people from some very tough neighborhoods; he guides them through the process of addressing issues that trouble their community, and they grow as leaders along the way. 

Yvonne Davis

Yvonne Davis retired in 2008 from a career as an elementary teacher and educational administrator, but rejoined the workforce in 2010 with Lift Up Through Literacy, a program of Kalamazoo Public Schools. Since she has always had a focus on family, she considers her executive directorship a dream job, allowing her to connect with parents and children through the program.  

Jo Ann Cribbs

Children need positive role models both inside and outside their families says Jo Ann Cribbs, who oversees youth programming for the Urban League of Battle Creek. While educators play a vital, day-to-day part, Cribbs feels strongly that parents are a child’s strongest influence when it comes to education. Cribbs strives to better the lives of local children and involves parents in programming too. 

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.

Winona Bynum

Winona Bynum, youth and nutrition programs manager at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, likens her work in the nonprofit sector to her past work in IT project management. Similar to technology projects, human service programs – like the children’s feeding programs she oversees – need stakeholder input and strong collaborations to be successful. 

Kayla Mason

Raised in South Central Los Angeles, a low-income community where youth face many challenges to success, Kayla Mason found her voice at the young age of 15 advocating for improvements in schools and in the community. While the path to get here has been laced with many organizing victories, she is mighty fired up about her role as director of YOUTH VOICE, an organization of Detroit youth who tackle political and social issues to create change. Mason has even developed her own trademarked model to help youth become agents of change in their own life and in their community. 
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Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell All

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Can systemic racism impact infant mortality?

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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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