Longform Voices of Youth BC 3

Voices of Youth: Battle Creek artist draws on experience to bring expressions of anxiety to life

Battle Creek Voices of Youth Artist Athena McCarthy focused her artist's lens directly on anxiety, creating digital artwork that personified her feelings. In her accompanying artist statements, she shares about the empowering process. Athena says, "There are ways to help with anxiety and to help those with anxiety, simply by being there for each other."

Longform Voices of Youth BC 3

Voices of Youth: CnE podcast focuses on social media and mental health

Voices of Youth Battle Creek participants, Elisha Willis and Cordell Barnes, listen to a lot of podcasts and wanted to try one of their own. They decided to focus on social media and its impact on teen mental health. In this conversational format, Elisha and Cordell, with their mentor Gerald King, touch on negative and positive impacts of social media and how to keep it all real. Listen to the CnE Podcast to get the real scoop on social media and teens today.

Longform Dale Robertson, president and CEO, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Leaders overcoming stigma: Community mental health is for everyone.Community mental health is for everyone.

Despite an increased awareness around symptoms and treatment options, a lot of stigma around seeking mental health care still exists. For leaders and professionals in esteemed positions and industries, this stigma can be even more difficult to overcome. 

Feature Story Wheelchair basketball is a highly physical sport, with players often bumping into one another and sometimes flipping their chairs. Yet the players love the thrill of getting a shot at the basket and scoring points.

Mary Free Bed women’s wheelchair basketball team competes nationally

Basketball played a big part in Jeni Rummelt's childhood. Her return to that old love marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter in life as an adult wheelchair user, playing on a highly competitive all-women's sports team.

Feature Story Kellogg Community College

Agreement between KCC and GVSU eases transfer concerns for students

Kellogg Community College is strengthening its bridge from associates to bachelors degrees at Grand Valley State University. Credit alignment, programming, and pre-transfer support are part of the collaborative effort. "Our advisors will be coming to KCC to work with these students," says Al Shiflett, Director of Community Engagement with GVSU's BC Regional Outreach Center. "They’ll be Lakers from day one even if they’re not at GVSU yet."

Longform Canadiana Fest

Why Canada? O Canada: Kalamazoo Canadian realizes dream for local Canadiana Fest

Nainamo bars, poutine, All-Dressed Potato Chips. If you know, you know. Many Canadian delicacies have a unique fusion of flavors. Local chef and Southwest Michigan Second Wave Food Writer Channon Mondoux, a Canadian herself, wants to have a big all-flavors Canadian party for native-born and the 'Canadienvious' so she's bringing the first-ever Canadiana Fest to Kalamazoo.

Longform Bob Rowe

A Ministry of Music: 'Love IS All That Matters' to Kalamazoo's Bob Rowe

Folk musician Bob Rowe was in the midst of a demanding music career when a transformational moment opened a pathway to combine music, ministry, and the elderly. For over four decades and as a culmination of what he holds sacred, Rowe has been performing at nursing homes in Southwest Michigan, often with his band, Green Valley Boys. "I have the heart of a priest and the soul of a musician — that is how I have lived my life.”

Feature Story VOY BC 3

Voices of Youth: Through words and art, Battle Creek youth share what matters to them

Southwest Michigan Second Wave is thrilled to launch its third cohort of stories from Voices of Youth Battle Creek, a student-paid journalism-training program. Over the next four weeks, we will be publishing the students' passionate stories and artwork that reflect on issues that matter most to them. Read on to learn more.

Feature Story Covid Schools

Voices of Youth Battle Creek: Pandemic-related impact on teen mental health

The pandemic's long-term shutdowns may be over, we all hope, but there's been some collateral impact among adolescents who were forced into isolation at one of the most social times of their high school lives. Voices of Youth writer Lauren Davis, a senior at Lakeview High School, speaks with peers and experts about these lingering effects and what can be done to help.

Feature Story Children's Nature Playscape

Kalamazoo's Children's Nature Playscape adds sensory appeal for reopening this spring

The Children's Nature Playscape on Bronson Park officially kicks off its third season this weekend with some fun additions including nature-inspired instruments, a sensory garden, and a Portland Loo for those other types of nature calls. The season opening takes place Saturday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with normal hours beginning May 8.

Partner Content Bike racks support active living in Grand Traverse County.

Active communities are healthier communities

Michigan Fitness Foundation’s Promoting Active Communities assessment offers a set of online tools to help Michigan communities create safe places for people to be active.

Longform The #wishyouknew aims to reduce stigma around getting help for mental health.

Michigan's community mental health agencies take action to reduce stigma around getting care

During May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, many Michigan CMHs are offering opportunities to take action to "stomp out stigma" that prevents Michiganders from seeking mental health care.

Feature Story A HUD grant is funding home accessibility assessments and modifications for 150 homeowners in rural West Michigan counties. (DAKC)

Disability Advocates Kent County helps low-income seniors age in place

Disability Advocates Kent County is using a $975,000, 3-year HUD grant to fund home accessibility assessments and modifications for 150 homeowners in rural West Michigan counties.

Feature Story Lucia Rios holds State of Michigan Special Tribute signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials. (Shandra Martinez)

Disability Inclusion Series Editor Lucia Rios receives 2023 Ability Award

Lucia Rios is honored for her decades of work educating people about accessibility issues and mentoring the next generation of disability advocates.

Feature Story KDPS

Kalamazoo Public Safety launches survey and invites public to walk in "an officer's shoes for a day"

With a desire for transparency, accountability, and trust-building – and the data to demonstrate it – the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has launched a public survey of its police services. And KDPS' popular Kalamazoo Regional Citizens' Academy is now running twice a year giving residents a chance to walk in the shoes of a police officer. “Honestly, we’re looking for people that aren’t all pro-police," says KDPS Chief David Boysen. "We want people that are a little skeptical about the policing, that are like, ‘we’re not sure about you guys.'”

Feature Story Lauren Davis

Learning Tool or Teaching Threat: Students and educators talk ChatGPT

Since its November launch, ChatGPT has created a stir of controversy. Some local teachers and students can see both its benefits and drawbacks. One Lakeview High School senior says she can see how the AI tool could help with generating essay ideas, but as far as using it in place of her own writing, she says, “It would create an interesting perspective, but it would never be your own work."

Special Report AARP Michigan volunteer Howard Pizzo, AARP Michigan Communications Manager Mark Hornbeck, and AARP Michigan State Director Paula Cunningham on the Lansing River Trail.

Special report: Michigan prepares for a rapidly aging population by becoming more "age-friendly"

We took a look at several Michigan initiatives that are working to create new age-friendly support systems as the state ages.

Longform A Way Home Pathway Home

Kalamazoo's Pathway Home program helps low-income renters get ready to become homeowners

At Pathway Home potential homeowners will talk about their goals, be enrolled in KNHS financial readiness and homebuyer's education courses, be teamed up with HUD-certified coaches at KNHS, and learn "all the basics on what it means to go from a renter to a homeowner." Learn more about this approach to keeping people housed.

Feature Story Litter Ladies and Lads

Battle Creek’s Litter Ladies and Lads make a difference one piece of trash at a time

On the first publicly-celebrated Earth Day since the pandemic, Southwest Michiganders gathered to plant, weed, and beautify. For the Litter Ladies and Lads in Battle Creek who pick up trash year-round to protect humans and wildlife, every day is Earth Day.

Feature Story Herrick District Library's main branch near downtown Holland.

How one library is making a renovation plan inclusive

As Herrick District Library prepares for a major renovation, the staff is working to make sure people with disabilities are part of the planning process to create an inclusive space


Kalamazoo Streets 101: Where we've been, where we're headed

Street changes are coming to Kalamazoo, even if some of us are still in denial. Second Wave's streetwise Mark Wedel helps unpack what to expect. Downtown streets aren't the cause of every problem, says Dennis Randolph, City of Kalamazoo Traffic Engineer, but "they are the backbone, the framework of the community. So you need to do something with the transportation network if you're going to help the community as a whole." For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.

Battle Creek

Southwest Michigan's North Country Trail offers local access to a national treasure

Did you know that Southwest Michigan hosts 114 miles of an eight-state national scenic trail? The North Country Trail, managed by the local Chief Noonday Chapter, is a quiet, local treasure. Read the full story here. Read more stories here.