Stories

Feature Story Sarah Sass

Muskegon professionals find success, happiness close to home

Why are professionals choosing to live in Muskegon? Lake Michigan beaches, bike trails, great restaurants, and an inclusive community, they say.

Feature Story The test kitchen highlights open spaces under the counter and sink for chairs or wheelchairs, lowered ovens, and cabinets with pull-down wire shelving.

Community, inclusion inspire new Home Accessibility Center to support those with disabilities

A new Home Accessibility Center will serve as a showroom to give contractors and families a place to learn how existing kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms can be renovated to ensure those with disabilities can continue living at home.

Development News more youth

New City Neighbors doing even more justice by youth

New City Neighbors' newly renovated farmhouse on one acre at 1115 Leonard St. NE in the Creston neighborhood offers space for additional youth programming and clubs, expansion of its community café and opportunity to grow more food. 

Feature Story Residents can purchase composting bags for $5 for one bag or $12 for three bags.

Ottawa County launches food composting program

Ottawa County’s new food composting program is the only local public health-led residential composting program of its kind in West Michigan.

Longform Dee Meux, a certified nursing assistant at Samaritas, wears Glass smart glasses.

Smart glasses help family caregivers connect to professional help for loved ones aging at home

Caring for an older relative despite having no formal caregiving training can be stressful, but a new pilot project in the Grand Rapids area is using smart glasses to help.

Feature Story civic engagement

Fostering collaboration, commitment and continued community engagement from GR to the lakeshore

The LEADeres program is preparing Latino professionals to drive positive change. It has helped form business leaders, educators, a county judge and others who play a role in shaping the identity and future of this region.

Innovation News 3501 Fruit Ridge development

Fostering healthy growth by nurturing ethical business relationships

To meet the needs of the market, Honeycrisp Ventures shifted its business model to incorporate new commercial construction development. By listening to community needs, maintaining strong partnerships and operating ethically, they have been able to provide positive results for their tenants and smoothly navigate challenging times.

Feature Story Team members from Zeeland High School's robotics team — known as Built on Brains, or B.O.B. — were one of two teams to compete at the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics World Championship in Houston last month.

Robotics students are next tech workforce

Two area robotics teams competed at the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics state and world championships, but that's just the beginning. Many tech companies mentor the students now and seek them out when it comes time to hire later.

Feature Story Jocelyn Hines (right) poses with her parents (left) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after Hines received the 2019 Youth Volunteer of the Year award.

MSU grad launches Muskegon Young Black Professionals to support community

Muskegon native and MSU grad Jocelyn Hines was inspired to launch Muskegon Young Black Professionals after seeing a similar networking organization in Detroit.

Longform Students at North Elementary School in Birch Run participate in an InPACT physical activity break.

New program helps Michigan kids maximize physical activity in the classroom

A program called InPACT offers schools strategies that deliver 20 minutes of daily physical activity in the classroom.

Feature Story A student takes part in GRCC's free college prep summer program. (GRCC/Steve Jessmore)

GRCC’s free summer program prepares new high school grads for college success

A free Grand Rapids Community College summer program for graduating high school seniors is aimed at boosting foundational math and reading skills and preparing them for success.  

Feature Story Teleah Mitchum stands by a mural at the E. Warren Farmers Market.

Resilient Neighborhoods: East Detroit nonprofit gets creative to help local businesses grow

From screwdrivers to digital expertise, this East Side Community Development Organization has embraced some unique approaches to helping local businesses expand and thrive.

Development News McKay Tower

Tribal purchase of McKay Tower honors the past and secures the future

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (the Gun Lake Tribe) and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), purchased downtown Grand Rapids' McKay Tower in January 2020.

Feature Story Every polling place in Michigan is required to have accessible equipment to help those with disability cast their ballots independently.

Poll worker training key to smooth voting experience for people with disabilities

Election inspectors are equipped with tools during training — known as disability etiquette — that they can use to assist voters with disabilities. 

Special Report Mental health report

Special report: COVID-19's silver linings for mental health care in Michigan

More robust mental health care delivery and reduced stigma are among the silver linings emerging from the COVID cloud.

Feature Story Elaine

Published Together: The inspiring power of youth voices

In addition to providing new perspectives, focusing on the power of intergenerational dialogue allows an organization to learn, grow and further its positive impact on the community.

Feature Story Ian Miskelley dives into the pool during competition.

Be Better; educating coaches, parents, student athletes on mental wellness

Starting with student athletes and the people who are closest to them — coaches and parents — Be Better; is starting an education curriculum to help youth and their adults navigate mental wellness.

Feature Story KDaLe program

KDaLe Brewing Program taps into local beer culture

Grand Rapids is known as Beer City, USA, with beer-related events and happenings year-round. With the KDaLe brewing competition and tap takeovers, the Kent District Library is putting the ‘pub’ in public library.

Feature Story Elizabeth Ferry, of Holland, rides her motorized wheelchair on the sidewalk along Howard Avenue in Holland Township.

Holland woman, and others with disabilities, faced enhanced challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Even with masking and other precautions, Elizabeth Ferry said that she – like other people with disabilities she knows – lived in fear during the pandemic, afraid that her aides would quit, and she would be unable to replace them.

Feature Story Lori Hastings

Lori's Voice enriches lives of children with disabilities

Lori's Voice is an all-volunteer nonprofit founded to help young people with disabilities. Founder Lori Hastings remembers what it was like growing up a neurological disorder. Now, she's making sure other challenged youth have what they need.