Stories

Feature Story Ready for School

How focusing on a community’s youngest residents can close the opportunity gap

Ready for School is at the center of a community-wide effort to close the achievement gap. In the last decade, the results have been impressive.

Feature Story books.JPG

Why doctors are prescribing books to children in Holland

There’s a correlation between childhood literacy and healthy adults. At Lakewood Family Medicine in Holland, Dr. Kurt Lindberg has given out thousands of books to parents to encourage them to read to their kids.

Development News chinese language

Grand Rapids Chinese Language School: Speaking the dialect of diversity

For the past 28 years, the Grand Rapids Chinese Language School (GRCLS) has provided opportunity for families of Chinese descent to learn about and celebrate their heritage. The school has also served as a beacon of diversity and inclusion throughout West Michigan.


Innovation News Therapy

Representation and opportunity: Holiday art market exclusively showcased artists with disabilities

The This-Ability Holiday Art Market offered area artists with disabilities a way to use art as a tool for personal growth, and as a catalyst for community integration.


Feature Story Tori Champion gets a shot from Barbra Mustert at Calvin Health Services.

How Michigan health professionals are working to provide the best data on vaccines

Information about vaccines is prevalent and varies widely. To combat misinformation, many groups in the state of Michigan have doubled down on their efforts to collate, disseminate, and constantly update credible, scientific information on immunization.

Feature Story eduardo

Small business spotlight: All in a day's work at National Supermarket

Henry Eduardo is a local serial entrepreneur with 3 National Supermarket locations and a restaurant, showcasing diverse Latinx products and dishes for all.

Feature Story podcast

UIX: New podcasters find their footing in a crowd

Whether diving right in to their first episode, or dwelling on the idea for a year before hitting record, new podcasters inevitably revisit their ideas of what makes a good show after the first season. Some even question whether it's worth recording a second. Here are three stories of podcasters who started off in different situations, and intend on continuing.

Feature Story WMCC2019

G-Sync: West Michigan Cuddle Connection on the importance of human touch in our society

Rapid Growth's December radio show appearance on WGVU’s Morning Show with Shelley Irwin welcomed Sherri Rogers of the West Michigan Cuddle Connection to share how this group is helping folks in our community understand the importance of human touch.

Longform Dwayne Cole at Ruth Ellis Center.

Ruth Ellis Center helps LGBTQ youth feel "celebrated" through integrated primary and behavioral care

The Ruth Ellis Center Health and Wellness Center, an integrative health clinic opened in 2017, provides a wide range of services for the young people it serves.

Development News St James Solar

St. James Apartments find a place in the sun

St. James Apartments and Townhomes’ now has 308 solar panels at its 750 First St. NW affordable housing project, which opened December 2018. With the solar panel installation completed last month, they began capturing energy from the sun and transforming it into electricity for the renovated school’s 52 units. The solar array is expected to generate 125,000 kilowatt hours per year and reduce electricity costs by 50 percent.

Innovation News Heartside

Activating Heartside: Downtown organizations implement new solutions to revitalize S. Division Ave.

With results in from the City of Grand Rapids’ Heartside Quality of Life Study, leading organizations have shifted to implementing the study’s recommendations with innovative, community-based solutions that directly address problems identified; specifically, activating vacant spaces along South Division Avenue.


Feature Story WMSC

Why sports tourism could be the next big economic engine of Kent County

As Grand Rapids continues to grow and invest in key infrastructure, the region attracts global-caliber sporting events, making it a new hotspot for sports tourism.

Feature Story A confection from Mokya.

Shop Local: A Rapid Growth holiday gift guide

For those of us that have yet to check off everything on our holiday shopping list, there are plenty of local options to feed your desire for gifts friendly to the local economy.

Feature Story Alex Romero

RapidChat: Alex Romero on Taking Chances

Back in 2017 Alex Romero took a leap of faith by creating a role for himself within Carbon Stories that wasn't available. Fast forward to the present — this young entrepreneur not only holds the title of Project Manager at Carbon Stories, but he has started his own lifestyle brand appropriately dubbed, Take Chances Lifestyle.

Feature Story Ana Jose, Marielena and Salvia Cano, and Tommy selfie

G-Sync: Marielena and Salvia Cano’s growing restaurant empire began in a neighborhood garage.

For folks seeking an eatery where a smile is served with every amazing dish, I cannot say enough wonderful things about  Marielena and Salvia Cano's restaurants, whose menu items are amazing and the delicious result of their taking very creative first steps in a garage that launched not just one, but two distinct restaurants in our community. 

Development News malamiah

Malamiah Juice Bar moving to Studio Park

Jermale Eddie, co-founder and co-owner of Malamiah Juice Bar, hopes to have his popular enterprise up and running at Studio Park’s 122 Oakes St. SW storefront by December 1.

Innovation News diversity forum

Ottawa County’s diversity forum brought in top DEI leaders, reminded – “equity work is for everyone"

Michigan’s top diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders took center stage at Ottawa County’s fourth annual diversity forum held November 15; its first since hiring Robyn Afrik as the county’s first DEI director. This year’s forum highlighted that diversity, equity, and inclusion work is for everyone.

Feature Story Mary Alice Williams

RapidChat: Political activist Mary Alice Williams on gender equity and "fighting the good fight"

When it came to inequities between genders, "Something didn’t add up for me by the time I was a teenager," Gender Equity Advocate and Political Activist Mary Alice Williams proclaims. While over the years she has noticed gradual progress is being made in some areas, Mary strongly encourages young women to "leave the ladder down," so others know they too can climb.

Feature Story Samaritas

A new project and a national trend: The growing need for affordable housing for seniors

To meet the growing need of senior affordable housing in Michigan, Samaritas broke ground on a new affordable senior living facility: the St. Joseph Seminary Affordable Living project in Garfield Park.

Feature Story Dr. Kennedy Barrington

Rooted in structure and solid work ethics: Local Women veterans promote change in business

As the number of veteran women-owned businesses increase, four West Michigan women veterans share their experiences, challenges, and what the community can do to improve the lives of veteran women entrepreneurs.

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