Monday, December 9, 2013

Best of the Net 11/25-12/8

Hope For Young Detroit Engineers

Focus: Hope is a nonprofit that has battled "hunger, economic disparity, inadequate education, and racial divisiveness" in Detroit since 1968. One of their many education programs is the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT). CAT allows students to earn a salary while obtaining an engineering degree tuition-free from Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, University of Detroit Mercy or the University of Michigan.

Management consulting firm Principia LLC's blog recently highlighted the CAT program's partnership with the University of Michigan College of Engineering. Since 2007, two Detroit students have obtained Nuclear Engineering Bachelors degrees and another obtained a Bachelors in Material Science while four students are continuing their engineering studies.

U.P. Love

Author and Michigan native Jim Harrison wrote what amounts to a love letter to the Upper Peninsula for The New York Times. The piece includes a stunning slideshow of photos, Harrison's favorite locations in the U.P. and some of his favorite childhood vacation memories. Reading Harrison's review of the U.P. makes me want to load up the car and make a trek over the Mackinac Bridge.

Kids Learn About Entrepreneurship

Michigan's support for entrepreneurs and startups is not limited to adults. Michigan's Kidpreneur offers classes, workshops and events to children aged 9 to 13 about entrepreneurship and technology. Michipreneur reports that Kidpreneur recently finished its first pilot program in Northville and Novi with 10 children finishing the nine-week program and another 40 children completing workshops.

Starting in January, the program will expand to Downtown Detroit with a possible expansion to Ann Arbor in the future.

The Real Slim Shady Stands Up

Wolverine Human Services is a Michigan-based charity that provides support to abused, neglected and delinquent children. Michigan's own Eminem agreed to match up to $100,000 for donations made to the charity on Tuesday, December 3, according to MLive. Wolverine Human Services supports youth and families throughout 38 Michigan counties with substance abuse, residential treatment and independent living programs.

Ultimately, the donations did not reach the charity's goal of $100,000, but it did raise $72,174 that Eminem's Marshall Mathers Foundation will match.

W.A.R. Against Human Trafficking

The Rapidian reports that Wyoming-based charity Women at Risk International (W.A.R. Int'l) assists in the fight against human trafficking in all 50 states and more than 30 countries. One of the ways W.A.R. raises money is through its two boutiques in Rockford and Wyoming, Michigan. The boutiques sell items made by women who have been assisted by W.A.R. The items include ornaments, jewelry, purses, books and fair-trade coffee and the proceeds go back to the organization's efforts to prevent trafficking and to the women who create the products.

All For Detroit

Detroit nonprofit All Four One strives to create more college opportunities for Detroit students. Detroit Unspun featured the nonprofit's work in Detroit and its recent roundtable discussion for 50 high school students. Wayne State University hosted the discussion about college opportunities and preparedness for college life. The article also focuses on All Four One founder and Detroit native, Ishmail Terry, and his initial struggles in college and how he eventually found success.

A Superior Youth Program

Michigan State University Extension educator Joan Vinette developed the Life of Lake Superior Youth Program 13 years ago to give Upper Peninsula children in Alger County a sense of appreciation for the largest great lake. Michigan Nightlight reports that the program gives children aged 9 to 14, and their parents and grandparents, the "opportunity to explore their community and appreciate local arts, natural resources, history, culture, recreation, and careers relevant to those who live in proximity to the lake's shoreline."

The program does not charge fees for children to attend, and it runs for four days each July with an average of 75 children participating. The program also teaches children and families to live healthier lives by providing nutritional meals as well as an introduction to the many outdoor activities available in the U.P.

Wayne State Grad Starts From Scratch

Michigan is full of entrepreneurial-minded individuals who are working to get their businesses off the ground. Crain’s Detroit Business highlights one entrepreneur, Rakesh Katragadda, who started his business with a credit card and the help of government and nonprofit economic development funds. Katragadda’s company, Ann Arbor-based AMF-Nano Corp., makes wireless environmental sensors to “monitor water and air quality, temperature, humidity, soil quality and other conditions.”

This inspirational story shows how a good idea, some risks and support from various sources can lead to a successful business.  Katragadda, a Wayne State alum, projects revenue of $500,000 to $1 million next year and up to $12 million in three to four years.

Michigan State Smells Roses

Michigan State University's football team clinched its first Rose Bowl in 26 years with a huge upset of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game this past weekend. Do not tell the Spartans it was an upset though. They played old school line-‘em-up-and-knock-‘em-down football on Saturday night with dominating performances by their offensive line and defense. With their 34-24 victory over the Buckeyes, the Spartans finished a season in which they beat every Big 10 opponent by 10 points or more.

This Michigan fan has been impressed by their defense all year and would love to see how they would measure up against Florida State or Auburn. Instead, they will play a Stanford team in the Rose Bowl that also likes to play power football. 

Congratulations to Coach Dantonio and his Spartans on an almost perfect season. Good luck in the Rose Bowl!

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