Features

Feature Story Seeds of Promise 1

How one Grand Rapids community is fighting for equitable health care access

The Seeds of Promise Health and Wellness Impact Team Impact was birthed out of the Madison Square neighborhood’s organizing for holistic health care access — a kind of access that sees members of this community as human beings who have been forced to navigate systems that did not always center their experiences. Today that model continues to demonstrate how a community’s voice can lead and change to create the kind of resources and support a community wants and deserves.

Feature Story Tracy Byrd

How homeownership can play a role in the fight against gentrification and blight

Housing stability can have a significant impact on how successful an individual is finding and maintaining employment. While the current housing system has failed to ensure the most vulnerable have access to safe and affordable housing, local advocates are finding ways to connect residents to resources and support.

Feature Story Rosa Chaidez wants to find affordable housing for her family.

Lakeshore housing initiatives focus on ‘missing middle’

Though wages increasing 5.2% in the past five years, the average home sale price shot up 64.5%, leaving homeownership out of reach for most moderate wage-earners — particularly those who earn $15-$20 per hour. Several Lakeshore nonprofits and trade associations are spearheading initiatives to help this “missing middle” navigate the path to buying a home.

Feature Story ThiMore people are starting a business in 2021. (Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash)

Why 2021 just might be the year to start your business

Uncertainty remains in 2021 as we take steps to get ahead of the pandemic. However, emerging trends — including the explosion of e-commerce and pent-up customer demand — show this might be a great time to start a business. 

Feature Story The nearly $10 million donation to GRCC will be used to support student resources and modernize buildings.

GRCC Foundation receives $10 million gift, largest in college’s history

The nearly $10 million donation to GRCC from the late Robert Richmond, a West Michigan developer, will be used to support student resources and modernize buildings. GRCC Foundation leaders say the gift will “keep higher education within reach.”

Feature Story A new agreement will give GRCC students a seamless transfer to a Ferris State bachelor’s degree in music and entertainment business.

New music business program lets GRCC students enter Ferris as seniors to complete BA

Under the agreement, students could earn an associate degree in pre-music and entertainment in three years at Grand Rapids Community College, then transfer to Ferris State University for one year to complete a bachelor’s degree in music and entertainment business.

Feature Story Stacey Workman is a financial adviser.

5 ways to feel inspired during Financial Literacy Month

Statistics show that most people are concerned about money — with regard to either the present, the future, or both. As April is Financial Literacy Month, The Lakeshore asked financial adviser Stacey Workman for tips that could help people achieve their short- and long-term monetary goals.

Longform Second graders at Petoskey’s Central Elementary School practice mindfulness in 2019.

Meals and mindfulness: How Michigan schools are connecting nutrition and behavioral health

In northwest Michigan, educators, mental health professionals, and food service directors are teaming up to support the children they serve by connecting the dots between good nutrition and good mental health.

Feature Story Muskegon YMCA volunteers distribute bags of food to those in need.

How Muskegon YMCA is tackling food insecurity in its neighborhood

Volunteers and staff fill thousands of bags with food each Friday for the Muskegon YMCA’s food distribution program. Each bag holds a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches for one person 18 or younger — meeting a pressing need in the community. 

Feature Story Rapper Rakim will discuss his book as part of GRCC's Diversity Lecture Series.

Hip-hop legend to discuss his life, craft at diversity lecture series

Rakim is set to take the virtual stage for the April 6 installment of the GRCC Diversity Lecture Series. The celebrated hip-hop MC will discuss his life, work, and book, which offers his insights on writing and rhyming, as well as a glimpse into his private life.

Feature Story Joel Schoon-Tanis in his Holland studio.

Holland artist Joel Schoon-Tanis cultivates his craft with childlike wonder, whimsy, and wordplay

Though he’s an accomplished artist at 53, Joel Schoon-Tanis seems determined never to act his age. The Holland native takes his career seriously, but he isn’t afraid to include a few misspelled words in his projects.

Feature Story GRCC's Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory is recognized as one of the top programs in the nation.

GRCC early childhood center among top programs in nation

The Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory allows future teachers to interact with highly qualified mentors while observing and participating in the delivery of effective curriculum for young children.

Feature Story Construction

How a strong foundation, entrepreneurial spirit and faith help a local business owner succeed

Born and raised in West Michigan, Jodi van Haren brings a unique perspective to the traditionally male-dominated construction industry. Owner of Advantage Mechanical Refrigeration, van Haren is also a member of the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi — the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of the Chippewa Indians, a wife, a mother, grandmother and an active community member. As she reflects on 20 years in business, she shares more about her background and lessons learned along the way.

Feature Story Colby Tucker, 14, from Hopkins in Allegan County, is in his third year of collecting and cooking sap.

Turning sap to syrup makes spring the sweetest season of all

Making syrup from maple tree sap brings a sweet reward, but it takes a lot of work. Lakeshore syrup producers — large and small, young and old — are tapping trees, collecting sap, and boiling it down to just the right consistency. And they love it.

Feature Story Vaccines

Excitement is in the air: Health care workers emboldened with new supply of COVID-19 vaccines

Smiles are replacing masks and hope is in the air. After nearly a year of waiting on a vaccine, health care staff are turning the tide in the battle against COVID-19.

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Growth & Innovation

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Local food truck relaunches as ‘Roll Call’ serving global-inspired handhelds


GRABB grants help area Black businesses navigate COVID-19


Local compost company champions sustainability and taps into the cannabis growing industry


Summit brings LGBTQIA+ youth together to create a more tolerant tomorrow


La Fuente Consulting grows brand with a new comprehensive language services company


“Shade is an equity issue": How JEDI guides Friends of Grand Rapids Parks


Development

GRABB grants help area Black businesses navigate COVID-19


“Shade is an equity issue": How JEDI guides Friends of Grand Rapids Parks


HealthBar advances concierge-style health care


Puertas Abiertas helps Latinx abuse victims find safety


New programs deepen City of Grand Rapids’ goals of diversity, equity and inclusion


Pack Elephant + The Marketplace at Studio Park = opportunity for local makers


Innovation

Local food truck relaunches as ‘Roll Call’ serving global-inspired handhelds


Local compost company champions sustainability and taps into the cannabis growing industry


La Fuente Consulting grows brand with a new comprehensive language services company


Local entrepreneur shares her journey that has landed her inspirational greeting cards nationwide


Over $5 million to be awarded to West Michigan area businesses


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