The Rapidian Home

Join us in supporting youth literacy

Supporting The Rapidian supports our efforts to build youth literacy- where young people like Donny call themselves journalists, and their writing proves it.
The Press Club visits the mayor for an interview

The Press Club visits the mayor for an interview /courtesy of Andy Angelo Press Club

Underwriting support from:

Press Club members interview the mayor

Our press club members attend events and interview public figures- like the mayor of Grand Rapids.

"Press Club members, you did a wonderful job. Your interview questions were thoughtful and they challenged me. You are all very poised and mature and you handled the interview with great diplomacy. I am confident that you could all have a career in journalism if you choose that route."
-Mayor Heartwell 

Donate now.


a Press Club member uses an iPad to write his story for The Rapidian

a Press Club member uses an iPad to write his story for The Rapidian /Lorena Slager

/Lorena Slager

Last month our advanced Press Club was pleased to invite local journalist and Creative Youth Center (CYC) board member, Charlsie Dewey, to come and talk to the group about what her job entails and to offer a few of her best practices. Our eight Andy Angelo Press Club members (ages 10-14) eagerly took notes on her advice and asked her a variety of well-thought-out questions. At the end of the class, Charlsie asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Without hesitation, Donny confidently answered “Probably a journalist, since I already am one.”

At the CYC we have three main goals: to support kids’ writing skills, amplify their voices, and give them quality homework help and tutoring. Although we certainly do our best to get kids excited about writing through our workshops and classes, the one thing that consistently motivates them to continue improving their writing skills is the publishing of their work - or as we say, amplification of their voices.

The Rapidian has proven to be an ideal venue for this amplification. Seeing their work published on such a professional and public platform encourages our students to develop their critical thinking skills, allowing them to confidently share their thoughts and opinions. They are also given feedback and support by Rapidian readers. In one case, George Heartwell, the mayor of Grand Rapids, even responded to their article and let them know that he valued them as journalists and as citizens of Grand Rapids.

The CYC and the Rapidian of course value writing skills and grammar, but we also work hard to develop a passion for writing in our young reporters. In their excitement to write and publish an article, these journalists are also developing strong creative problem solving skills through the editing and revising of their work.

Most importantly, because they are Rapidian journalists, they have become more inquisitive about their world. They now know how to fact check, how to interview and how to formulate an appropriate response to an event or statement. These students have developed a hunger for learning and have begun to question nearly everything, thoroughly exploring the city around them in their search for answers.

We at the CYC could not have helped make this happen without the Rapidian’s support of our students’ work.

We ask you to join us in supporting The Rapidian- and their work that supports youth literacy- with a donation today.


Below are Donny's first article, introducing himself, and a more recent article, written less than two years later.


June 2011, Age 10

Donny is Guatemalan from his dad. Also he is Mexican by his mom. But he was born in Georgia.

He likes to learn about science because he thinks it’s interesting. Also he does science projects to see how those the stuff work. He plays in soccer team named Olê and goes for the team America. He soon wants to become a soccer player in America. He lost his plasma, computer, cellphone and video games. He lost all that because of robbers. They broke the door but now he has security around the house. His hobby is to play soccer to practice and usually plays outside. But sometimes he reads the books, Calvin and Hobbes.

March 2013, Age 12

Andy Angelo was a great and joyful man. People always remembered him as a very good person. He supported many programs, like the Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, and volunteered in many activities. He respected every person he met. Every person gave respect to Andy Angelo because he was a very nice person.

Andy Angelo was a boss, LIKE A BOSS!! Anyway, he worked with his employees. Nearly every employee thought that it was an honor to work with him. His employees also mentioned that it was a very good experience to work with him.

Todd Fettig was one of Angelo's employees. He said that he was a very good person for a role model for everyone. Fettig also mentioned that Angelo respected his employees very much. He said that Angelo respected and was kind to every person he met.

"I had only seen Andy lose his temper once in twelve years of working with him," says Fettig. He also said that he was not a bossy person to his employees.

Everyone said that Angelo was very nice to many people. One of the ways that he showed his respect was by respecting people's ideas so people would feel better and be more inspired. He respected people's ideas even when he thought that the person's ideas were not good.

Fettig said that it was a very good experience to work with Angelo. He said that out of all the people that he knows, he cannot compare anyone to Angelo. He was a one-of-a-kind person.

In conclusion, everybody loved Andy. He respected everyone. Mostly everyone thought that he was a one-of-a-kind person! Everyone misses him. Andy may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.