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Stories to inspire you.

Diana Sieger has captained the ship of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation since 1987. Since then, the organization has grown in assets from $35 million to $260 million, and with Diana at the helm, citizens of Kent County and beyond are reaping the benefits of her determination and stellar work ethic.

As a mother of three, Melody VanderWeide knows keeping kids active, entertained and stimulated takes variety. She put her multitasking know-how to good use in founding the ever popular, ever updating website for all things kid-friendly, GRKids.com.

Jazz vocalist Edye Evans Hyde is passionate about music in general, but jazz is her go-to, all-American, art in the form of music genre. From traditional to smooth to funky to improv, Edye knows jazz provides freedom of performance and freedom of the soul.  

According to 2011 surveys, annually there are 1.6-2.8 million runaway children in the United States. In Michigan alone that year, there were more than seven thousand runaway children. Muskegon County runaways numbered 460. Julia Koch of The Hope Project says these numbers, "aren't small potatoes," especially considering the percentage of runaway children who become exposed to human trafficking. "According to the National Runaway Hotline, one in three runaway (children) will be approached by a trafficker within forty-eight hours of leaving home," Julia said. 

Veronica Ramirez Garcia is a full-time mom. And for the past nine months, she's also been the full-time executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Her focus on minority business growth and developing core values for local entrepreneurs and employees is the driving force behind the chamber's impact in West Michigan. But the chamber doesn't just touch the Hispanic community. Veronica emphasizes integration between other local chambers, "and various other organizations that are focused on helping businesses and the growth of community." 

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