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Student Leaders

A series dedicated to students that go above and beyond to serve their school, peers and community.

Injury, illness can’t hold back this future teacher

Her junior year, another ACL suffered a tear, and that too meant a visit to a surgeon. It was while recovering from that injury that Emily was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma...

Student’s Video Work Helps Shape District Future

Helping pass bonds for a school district and a fire department by creating videos isn't expected from a high school senior, but Nathan Seeber has done it. Jerry Robinson, Nathan's digital video teacher, said he's not sure how the bond...
'I feel I wouldn’t be productive if I wasn’t involved,' says Sparta graduate Erica Humphreys

Erica Humphrey: Busy Senior with a Lot to Give

Erica Humphreys' grandparents died nearly a year ago, one month apart from each other. The tender care they received in their passing is a key reason the recent Sparta High School graduate says she is bound for Michigan State...

Giving back as others gave to them

Three sisters, refugees from Rwanda, devote their Monday evenings to volunteering at the Learning Café, an education center in Grand Rapids that serves refugee children...

Students Offer Peers a Safe Place to Get Away

The room is buzzing. Kids chomp on pizza as they play chess, a game of “Sorry” and laugh at videos of people doing goofy things. Others chat cheerfully. It’s just what Emma Fraam had in mind when she organized Lunch...

High School Student Turns Senior Project into Community Festival

When Byron Center High School senior Evie Misiak wants to make a difference, she goes big. Big like this: Evie had to complete a senior project for National Honor Society with the instructions to "make a difference." So she planned...

A ‘drive to do good in the world’

Born in Paris, Léa Schmitt and her family moved to Grand Rapids from France in time for the last few weeks of her sixth-grade year at Breton Downs. She barely spoke English...

Scarred by War, Driven to Make a Difference

Born against the backdrop of war, Bosnian immigrant Katarina Vickovic is driven to take advantage of her second chance, and to help others avoid the heartache she and her family suffered. The Caledonia senior was a baby when her parents...

‘I Want to Do Something Big’

If you visit junior Alexis Sell at Crossroads High School, you'll likely find her helping a fellow student, packing care bags for people in need or organizing her report as a Board of Education student representative. But just two years...

Getting along, helping out are keys for this born leader

This high school junior takes pride in keeping up her grades, but isn’t limited to classroom excellence...

From Victim to Advocate: Student Raises Funds, Awareness for Child Abuse Agency

What a night it was. Cascades of glittering lights. Gorgeous gowns and snappy suits. Fine sculpted centerpieces on the tables. And two talented teens dancing elegantly as more than 200 guests watched. The teens were Alicia Monteith and her brother,...

‘I’ll Saw this Wood Up – I’m Not Scared of It’

From the courtroom to the archery range and beyond, a quartet of female high school students are breaking into fields dominated by males. Two Kent Career Tech Center students were among 32 students across Michigan to receive 2016 Breaking Traditions...

Learning Leadership through Volunteering, Competing

For East Kentwood High School seniors, serving residents cake and ice cream for Christmas at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans was much more meaningful than just completing an assignment for class. "They were really happy because they don't get...

This Eagle Scout and 3-point Shooter Gives His All

Kyle Bueche has done exceptional things. As an eighth-grader he was recognized by peers for his fabulous three-point shot in basketball. Now, as a junior, he has earned the top rank in Boy Scouting. Kyle, who has Down syndrome, works...

Advocating for The Voices of Youth

Behind her beaming smile, Lee High School junior Jisel Ochoa often is considering center-stage topics in national politics: immigration policy, women's rights, gay marriage. Though she's a talented student and runner, Jisel's interests surpass sports and academics. She wants the...

High School Sideline: Organic Milk

It looks like big things are on the horizon for sophomore and Future Farmers of America member Shannon Good. Shannon is really no "future" farmer; she's already milking cows, driving tractors and cleaning stalls at her family's small dairy and...
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