Community Stories

Journey out of poverty

Through Circles Newaygo County, local individuals and families find the resources, connections, and encouragement they need to lead their own journeys out of poverty.

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Giving others an opportunity

Julee Tellkamp is anything but ordinary. While preparing to move into a college dorm last fall, she was also preparing to create a fund at the Community Foundation.

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Blessed to be a blessing

Although they live in Grand Rapids now, Brian and Diane Karsten have a special place in their hearts for Fremont. They created a scholarship to support deserving Fremont graduates as a way to give back to a community they feel blessed to have been a part of.

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When possibility becomes reality

In 2013, Alyssa Greene of Hesperia received the Possibility! Scholarship, a special full, four-year scholarship from the Community Foundation. This May, Alyssa graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a bright future full of opportunity ahead of her.

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Building skills and resilience

Last summer, SEEDS Youth Conservation Corps gave local youth–many in foster care–the opportunity to gain job experience, build skills, earn money, and learn more about environmental stewardship and conservation.

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Sharing a family legacy

Introduced to the importance of giving and service at a young age by her own parents, Lois Brookhouse followed their example and then passed down a family legacy of generosity.

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Art and generosity

Helen Myers studied art in college and while she went on to a career in business, she is remembered as someone whose artistry showed through in everything she did. Now a scholarship fund created by Helen’s family in her memory supports young women who plan to study art and design.

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Changing course

Newaygo High School Principal Jackie Knight and Assistant Principal Sarah Rodriguez developed Project 180 as a way to help students facing expulsion stay on-track to graduate while also redirecting them toward more positive, connected lives.

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A good place to be from

Charles and Marilee Whitman came to Michigan from Ohio, ultimately adopting Fremont as home. Their service in the community, as well as the fund they created at the Community Foundation, are examples of their belief in the importance of giving back more than you take.

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Taking the next step

When Randi Koogler’s job was downsized, instead of focusing on the problem, she recognized a chance for a new start. An adult student scholarship from the Community Foundation helped her take the next step.

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