Worker Story

Kelly Supports Families in Critical Moments

 “Hearing from clients that I influenced them or was there for them in big moments helps reassure me that I am in the right position.” – Kelly    When Kelly Fox graduated with her Master’s in Social Work, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, or who she wanted to work with. She just

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Russell Davis Empowers Kids Through Music

“Any form of music can be used as therapy,” – Russell    Russell Davis grew up in a musical household. He remembers first getting into music in the fourth grade when he got a journal and started writing down song lyrics for fun.      Now Russell is an accomplished songwriter and producer. He has

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A Champion for Change

35 years and hundreds of kids later, his passion continues.    Gary Turner has the natural-born talent of a social worker. He grew up in Lansing with five siblings, and his home was always open to friends and neighbors. His mother was a home-maker and took care of everyone. Gary was inspired by the way

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Breaking the Cycle

Mike came from a very poor family. He was raised by his grandmother because his parents were unable to take care of him. Although he struggled, he found his place working at Highfields and empowering kids to break the cycle.    When Mike was growing up he felt disadvantaged.    “I didn’t have the greatest

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Cheryl Embraces Change

Cheryl says goodbye to Highfields after 31 years of teaching. Although she never thought she would teach teenagers, working at Highfields changed her mind.    Cheryl Wichman never in a million years thought that she would be teaching teenagers.    “I’ve always liked working with children,” said Cheryl. “I emphasize ‘children’ because I never wanted

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An Unbreakable Bond

   Sherri has a heart for children who are suffering. For fourteen years she has dedicated her life to providing foster care, and has cared for over 60 children in her home.    Sherri adopted two of her foster children: Kara, age 10, and Nolan, age 5. Both of them are diagnosed with autism spectrum

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Students Learn New Skills

   One of the first things Dontrell noticed when he arrived at Highfields’ Onondaga Campus for the Phoenix program was the facilities team. There were three men who would fix everything around campus. They seemed so knowledgeable – like his dad.    When Dontrell was a kid, his dad built a house. He asked Dontrell

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Steve Helps Kids Become Successful Adults

   When a friend suggested that Steve Swart disc jockey a talent show at Highfields, he wasn’t sure it was something he wanted to do. He had never worked with kids before. But, just for fun, he did it anyway — and he loved it.    Swart said seeing all the positive work done at

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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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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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