Although her journey did not begin in the state, Kim Collins found a place to call home here in West Michigan. Taking the parts of her life she loved, she turned them into passions and followed through on making her dream job a reality.
When Ace Marasigan moved here from the Philippines at age 16, he brought some of home with him, but even more so when he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival.
Jenny Kinne, the new owner of Cherry Street’s beloved independent bookstore Books & Mortar, started her career selling books out of her parents’ basement and exchanging her favorite paperbacks for Monopoly money. A series of professional adventures, mostly focused on nonprofit development and public policy, led her to Fountain Street Church, Planned Parenthood, Michigan League for Public Policy and eventually life as a business owner. Her love for public policy and community activism is what eventually sparked her passion for owning a progressive, independent bookstore.
As a secular humanist, Jack Woller never saw himself working for a church, much less serving as the executive director. But after life in the world of sports retail left him feeling unfulfilled, Woller went on a journey that ultimately led to Fountain Street Church, volunteering in the community and working at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum along the way.
A brand new comedy venue is opening its doors this month to showcase some of the best talent in Grand Rapids, as well as provide education to up-and-coming comics and performers.
Reputation has it that if artists are not living in New York, Nashville or L.A., they’ll have a difficult time “making it” to a national platform. Ted Velie is rewriting that narrative as one of three co-founders of Michigan House, a pop-up event space for Michigan artists.
Sex education in school has long been an awkward affair.
Boys and girls sit in separate classrooms watching videos about the reproductive system, maybe getting handouts of free deodorant or tampons. Throw in a lesson that abstinence is the safest form of sex, and that’s often the extent of it.
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