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Community Leaders say loudly, “We Believe, We Become”

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Thursday July 15, 2010 marked the launch of the neighborhood engagement piece of the Believe2Become Initiative. Community leaders from the central zone met at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids to become informed of the efforts and strides already being made with the initiative. Lynn Heemstra from City of Grand Rapids’ Our Community’s Children, Senita Lenear from GRPS, and Eddie Grover from S.T.R.O.N.G. were among the many stakeholders in attendance. There was a lot of positive energy in the room as the passion and vision of the initiative were laid out for all attendees. When so many talented people and organizations come together in a collaborative effort to enrich the lives of youth in the community, the hope and possibility for sustainable change is contagious.

Believe2Become is about believing in the unlimited potential of every human spirit, and the power of high expectations from a supportive community. It’s about creating real opportunities for students to become the people they aspire to be. It’s about believing in the ability of everyone to become their dreams.Lighthouse Communities is taking the lead in neighborhood engagement efforts. Our two community liaisons, LaKiya Thompson and Willie Patterson, are beginning to meet with community leaders and residents to share information surrounding Believe2Become while spurring a desire for active engagement and participation in this process. Their energy and passion are so evident as they gear up to take this initiative to the streets. The whole of engagement efforts are focused on relationship building through meetings, presentations and conversations surrounding Believe2Become. Articles, interviews, PSAs and other forms of communication will also be used to spread the word and generate community participation. Stay posted for more information on the dates, and times for the upcoming Community Planning meetings.

A second stakeholder meeting is taking place on Thursday, August 5, 2010 from 5:30-8:00pm. If you are interested in attending please contact Kari Galbreath at 616.451.9140 x240 or [email protected]!

To see what else is going on with Believe2Become check out the website at

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