Author: ljurasek

Thanks to You, #GivingTuesday Was a Huge Success

  As a father of three, Davey Long encourages his kids to pursue their interests and work toward their goals. That's why last fall, when his ten-year-old son, Isaac, asked him and his brother, Kenny, to run in a community 5K, he agreed.    "I was proud that he decided to do it himself and

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One Week’s Notice

     Like many toddlers, Peyton liked to test his boundaries. He made a habit of running away from his mother, Bethany, at all the wrong times – like when they were in public places.    One afternoon, as Peyton tried to dash away from his mother, she reached out and grabbed him by the

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When Teachers Play GAMES

   When you give afterschool program facilitators a problem, they find an answer. That’s what they are trained to do – think on their feet and find solutions.    Brenda Weck, Highfields’ Reaching Higher project director, proved this last October. When she discovered that her coordinators may not be able to attend the Michigan AfterSchool Association Conference,

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Teaching Values Through Basketball

   For many teenagers, sports like basketball or football are a big deal. They play on their school or community teams, dedicate themselves to practice and some of their biggest goals might be to set a personal record or to go with their team to a championship. But to others, sports play a much bigger

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Grant Gives Counselors Opportunity to Motivate

   "I want to be someone my son can look up to," Chris Robinson said and looked at the room of counselors standing before him.    "Family is important to you," one counselor said.    "Being a good father is important to you," another responded.    "You want to set a good example for your

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A Family Legacy

   TaKarra Wilson takes after her dad and uncles. They’re tough but they all have big hearts. That might be why they’re so good at being residential counselors.    TaKarra has worked for Highfields as a residential counselor for about two years. She spends her days with the residents, offering them support and behavioral counseling

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The Resource Queen of Clinton County

    Erika Phillips is always running. A mother of four, a Highfields Wraparound facilitator for Clinton County and an active member of her community, she keeps her schedule full. But you won't find her complaining – in fact, she'll admit to being called a "Positive Patty" by her colleagues.     She says that,

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Having the Strength to Overcome and Addiction

    A year ago, Lauren* and her family were struggling. She was battling a drug addiction. Her two young daughters had bedbugs in their room. She and her husband didn't budget, didn't clean and didn't know where to turn. And things were about to get worse.     Just before Thanksgiving, a neighbor reported

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What Makes Parents, Students and Teachers Happy?

      Since its inception in 2007, Highfields After School program, Reaching Higher, has consistently done two things: helped students, and expanded.     In the last seven years, the grant-funded program has grown from a two-location program able to serve 90 students to a program reaching across seven schools, able to serve 315

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