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Skot Welch

RapidChat: Skot Welch on helping our youth solve problems through story telling

Founded in 2012 by Skot Welch, The Mosaic Film Experience is a workforce initiative working to prepare our youth to be better problem solvers. "We started Mosaic Mobile because not all schools have access to film equipment. Kids practically live on their phones, and we want to show them the opportunities they have on that particular device," explains Welch.

Ypsilanti Mobile Farm Stand patron Robert Henderson.

Fresh food is a luxury, but these programs are making it more accessible to all

Through mobile farm stands, education programs, and creating a "food sovereign city," organizations in communities across Michigan are helping to close the gap when it comes to what we eat.

Sovengard

GR Restaurants are growing, but where are they going? Trends and the future of the local food scene

In a growing economy in a mid-sized city like Grand Rapids, what sustains the restaurant scene? A few popular restaurateurs discuss trends in the industry, and their hopes and trepidations for the future.

Plastics Recycling

UIX: Grand Rapids has a plastic problem, and here's who's helping fix it

Plastic waste is a growing problem, in Grand Rapids, in West Michigan, in the United States, and the rest of the world. Here are the individuals and businesses that are working to use and reuse plastic more sustainably.

Mental Health

Growing up with mental illness: How wraparound services offer parents options and support

People living with mental illness face stigma on a daily basis. When children develop a mental illness, parents face this stigma right along with them. Here's how parents and local caregivers work to treat and support these children in this Special Report from Michigan Nightlight.

middlemarket

Catch up with GR housing: A booming market, affordable housing, the "missing middle" and more

Over the past year, writer Marjorie Steele has tackled a few of the pressing issues in housing in Grand Rapids. Check out what you've missed.

Dr. Maureen Connolly.

Michigan's homeless face major barriers to healthcare: Here's how care providers are trying to help

Many healthcare organizations across Michigan are finding creative ways to provide accessible healthcare to Michigan's most vulnerable residents, the homeless.

Jaime Counterman

RapidChat: Jaime Counterman on helping the healing process for children and teens with Ele's Place

Losing a loved one at a very young age herself, Jaime Counterman, the new Director of Ele's Place, emphasizes that all kids experiencing grief should have access to compassionate support as they heal.  

Refugee

New study reveals economic impact of immigrants and refugees in Kent County

Kent County’s 50,176 immigrants contributed $3.3 billion to the county’s gross domestic product in 2016. Here's how these community members are making a huge impact on the local economy.

write

Seeking to empower the female voice? Check out the Women who Write Author and Vendor Expo

Since 2013, Hook a Sista Up Collaborative (HASU), a membership-based organization supporting female entrepreneurs, has been creating platforms for West Michigan women to collaborate, empower, and inspire one another. On Saturday, October 6, HASU will present the fourth annual Women who Write Author and Vendor Expo.

Kyama Kitavi

Rapid Blog: What AfroTech Detroit can teach us about diversity in tech

Kyama Kitavi is an Administrative Analyst in the City of Grand Rapids Economic Development Office. In his Rapid Blog, Kyama Kitavi discusses his experience AfroTech Detroit and diversity in tech.


Native Services

Is successful healthcare a question of culture?: Native American clinic treats the whole self

Many West Michigan Native Americans find culturally-specific treatment at the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Health Clinic on State St. NE., where they take advantage of free health and dental care, as well as a community eager to rally around Michigan American Indians with support rooted in a shared cultural perspective.

JuanaWilliams

G-Sync: Juana Williams' migration from Detroit to Grand Rapids ushers in a new era of art here

Last month, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA) welcomed Detroit’s Juana Williams as their Exhibitions Curator. Publisher Tommy Allen sat down this month with her to get to know a bit more about her vision in this important role.  

Amy Action

RapidChat: Amy Acton on being a burn survivor, the importance of peer support, and more

At the age of 18, Amy Acton suffered from an electrical burn. She reveals that "I often found myself wondering why this happened, why I survived and the other person didn’t, and how I could help prevent something like this from ever happening again." Now, serving as Executive Director of Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Amy uses her experience as inspiration — highlighting the importance of peer support in every burn survivor's recovery process.

North Monroe

Neighborhoods of GR: Making Monroe North a riverside destination

Capitalization on the River, a continued focus on encouraging mixed-use developments, and promoting urban densities. These are the key elements attracting visitors, residents, and businesses to the Monroe North neighborhood.
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