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Student Leaders

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

Student Leader Devotes Fridays to Friendship

It’s a little card with simple directions, but Byron Center High School students know what passing it out results in: smiles, a feeling of belonging, friendship and confidence. The business-style cards circulate the high school, West Middle School and Nickels...

Student Rep Sees School Board Service As Preparation

Parker Fritz is one of those guys you just know is going places. That's why when the Kent City Community Schools Board of Education decided they wanted to mirror neighboring districts by having a student representative, they asked Parker. For the...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Student Council President Asks ‘Why Not Make a Difference?’

Hector Zoleta lives a line made famous by the late Sen. Edward (Teddy) Kennedy. "Some men see things as they are and say why?" Kennedy said at brother Robert's funeral. "I dream things that never were and say why not?" The...

Students Lead Drug, Alcohol Awareness Conference

Two hundred Kent area students, selected for their leadership potential, gathered for a day of lessons and activities as part of the Empowering Youth Leadership Conference at Calvin College. The conference was produced by eight volunteer students from area schools...

Linh Le Works Hard, Shares Talents

A defining moment for Linh Le, who spoke no English when she started eighth grade at Kelloggsville Middle School, was her mastery of the math constant Pi. She rattled off about 150 of the digits following 3.1415-- stopping at times...
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