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family stability & independence : People

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Laura Hughes

Executive Director Laura Hughes measures her work at the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park not just by the numbers, but by the spark of belief that youth have in themselves – a belief that was likely extinguished until they walked through the doors of the Ruth Ellis Center.  

Charlie Cavell

At an age when most young people focus on their social lives, Charlie Cavell saw a problem: youth unemployment in Detroit. While still a student at Wayne State, he founded the Pay It Forward Initiative. The program helps connect underserved young people with employment opportunities.

Cheryl Schuch

For most of her career, Cheryl Schuch used her marketing and networking skills in the private sector. For the last three years, she has put those social talents to work as executive director of Family Promise of Grand Rapids, overseeing programs that assist homeless families to achieve lasting independence and self-sufficiency.

Ruth Lumpkins

Ruth A. Lumpkins, executive director of Jubilee Jobs, has a strong desire to help the underserved and a vision to inspire all of her students not only to have dreams, but to realize them and be serious about their education and their future.

Randy Osmun

Randy Osmun, executive director of The Source in Grand Rapids, is a bridge builder. His organization brings together people in need of jobs with employers in need of services. The results: more stable families and satisfied employers. 

Angela Reyes

As executive director of Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Angela Reyes believes that failing schools and a lack of jobs create an environment ripe for youth to fall into crime or drugs – or simply lose hope. DHDC is changing the outlook for southwest Detroit youth and parents, and community members are becoming their own agents of change. 

Michael Poma

As executive director of the Baraga Houghton Keweenaw Child Development Board, Michael Poma works to see that children keep up with their peers in school. However, what keeps him awake at night is wishing he could make his services accessible and affordable to more people, especially needy children.

Darel Ross II

Darel Ross II became Co-Executive Director of LINC in 2008, after serving as the board treasurer for LINC for six years. Ross leads LINC’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods by engaging residents, developing business and housing opportunities, and securing over $42 million in funding in the same neighborhood in which he grew up. 

Dennis West

Dennis West and his staff at Northern Initiatives help businesses obtain the capital they need to start and expand their operations. This, in turn, helps to create jobs and wealth, which ultimately strengthens local families living in rural northern Michigan.
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Bright Ideas

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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