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The Fine Art of Parenting

Hardest job in the world? You betcha. Parenting Communities in Leelanau County helps with the challenges of parenting young children and preparing them for school success. 

The Common Bond of Fatherhood

Grand Rapids’ dads, both new and seasoned, come together for learning and encouragement with the Proud Fathers Program. 

Marjorie Kuipers

Marjorie Kuipers is concerned for kids who do not have enough food, who lack coats, boots and mittens to warm them, and who lack the opportunity to spike their grades with no-cost tutors or share what they learn with their families. Kuiper is the executive director of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, an organization that provides academic and social enrichment. She cares deeply about making a difference in the lives of struggling families.  

Sharlonda Buckman

Investing in children, by way of helping parents become better advocates, is the driving force behind Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of Detroit Parent Network. She espouses that it's everyone’s job to ensure that every child is in a winning position.

Ronald K. Nelson

Ronald K. Nelson heads the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids with confidence in the positive social changes the organization promotes. He is committed to offer low-income children healthy nutritional information, physical fitness opportunities, and more -- taking programming on the road and into neighborhoods as needed.     

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. 

Lisa Oliver-King

Lisa Oliver-King came to Grand Rapid’s Our Kitchen Table (OKT) with no gardening background, yet she was leading an agency that taught people to grow their own food. Today, she’s an avid gardener who dreams of expanding OKT’s gardening, farm market and outreach projects so that no one is turned away.

Martha Thawnghmung

Martha Thawnghmung connects to the Burmese refugees in Battle Creek not simply as clients, but as her brothers and sisters. Through the Burmese American Initiative she helps Burmese adults and children overcome language and cultural barriers and navigate government and agency systems to access resources for their health and education. 
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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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