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State of Opportunity
State of Opportunity is a multi-year reporting and community engagement project focused on how poverty affects children in Michigan. It will shed light on the challenges of growing up or raising kids while struggling to pay the bills and highlight the successes and the resilience of these families and the people who serve them.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:49pm
Well hello there! How have you been? It's been a while since my last post – three months, to be exact. I've been out on maternity leave and just got back to work and I have to say, I have a newfound respect for single parents.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:00am
Stories on State of Opportunity are all about ways to help disadvantaged kids find success in life. But when you meet a successful adult who grew up disadvantaged, they have a story that is like many others.
They didn’t get where they are by accident. They worked hard, of course, but usually, they also had some help. And often, that help can be traced back to one person who decided to make a difference.
Today, we're starting an occasional series about the people who make that decision. We’re calling this series, "One Person Who Cared." To share your own "One Person Who Cared" story, click here.
I met Jamie Alexander a couple of years ago. She’s a social worker for a program in Grand Rapids called Strong Beginnings, which helps African-American moms have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
But on the car ride to one of her client’s homes, Alexander told me her own story.
"My mom was a drug addict, an alcoholic," Alexander said. "And my dad was not around."
Monday, April 14, 2014 3:35pm
This Thursday, we're shifting gears at State of Opportunity.
For our call-in show, we want to talk with you and our invited guests about ways to help at-risk kids break the cycle of poverty.
People posting to our Facebook conversation so far have been adamant that schools and education are the way to give kids a better chance in life.
Friday, April 11, 2014 2:23pm
In the run-up to our call-in show for next week, we're looking for alternatives to schools as the solution for breaking the cycle of poverty for Michigan's children.
The point is not that education isn't the answer, but what haven't we tried?
Technology, as we've said before, has its costs and benefits. But when it comes to low-income kids and technology, the assumption is that no money equals no technology.
That assumption is wrong.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:41am
For the rest of this week and next, we're preparing for our upcoming call-in show.
We've focused a lot on schools and education because it's such a huge part of children's and parents' lives. After all, after age five, that's where kids spend most of their time and have formative experiences.
But when it comes to answering the big questions, do we rely too much on schools? What solutions do we overlook when we put all our eggs in the education basket?