Sarah Alvarez

Public Insight Journalist

Sarah is a reporter and producer for the State of Opportunity Project.

Sarah's job is to get readers, listeners and communities participating in reporting. She's also the founder of State of Opportunity's Infowire project. 

Before her work at Michigan Radio, Sarah was a civil rights lawyer in New York and a consultant to social justice organizations in California. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

She has a wonderful husband and three wonderful, busy kids and no time for anything else.

Ways to Connect


I first met Alex back in January, when I did a story about aging out of the foster care system.

Alex lives in rural Berrien County. At a minimum, he's 20 miles from everything; college classes, any work he could find, really everything. He didn't have a car, so he caught a lot of rides with Paula Laquerre, a state worker helping Alex as he left the foster care system. During those rides they would plot how Alex was going to finally get a car.

Today is my last day at State of Opportunity. I'm moving to California where I'll be taking part in the John S.Knight Journalism Fellowship

It's a great opportunity, and over the next year I'll be working to develop new ideas and approaches to serving undervalued news consumers.

courtesy of Eric Fretz

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email

Eric Fretz retired from the Navy in 2009 after 20 years of service. Then, he says it “kind of became my thing” to help younger veterans.

Ana C. / flickr

Dr. April Ping is a pediatrician in Livingston county. She's known by foster parents in her area as somebody who understands the complications the foster care system brings, and the health concerns it creates for kids.

see ming lee / flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two opinions today that, in a practical matter, mean more to low-income families than to anyone else.

There is the Affordable Care Act decision, which protects health insurance coverage of those people who need government subsidies to afford the cost of health care on the exchanges.

ant tree art / flickr

Governor Snyder recently signed into a law a set of rules about absences from school. These laws don’t affect every kid and family. But families living in poverty who get cash assistance from the state can lose those benefits if their children are truant. The issue is that this new law, like the state Department of Health and Human Services policy it is based on, doesn't define truancy.

Tina P. / Flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email

At State of Opportunity, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to share their story.

Elvert Barnes / flickr

There is still very little known about the suspected murderer of nine people inside of a Charleston, S.C church last night. Police say the suspect is 21 year old Dylan Roof and he is in custody. He is white, and several media outlets are reporting there are pictures of him wearing flags that represent South Africa under apartheid rule on his facebook page.

aapo haapanen

By now, many of you know about the tragic story out of the Bronx this weekend. 

Kalief Browder was sent to Rikers Island in 2010 when he was 16 years old. He never had a trial or a criminal conviction (the original accusation was that he took a backpack), but he was forced to stay there for three years anyway. Browder struggled after his release, and on Saturday he took his own life.

Chris Wieland / flickr

People in the city of Inkster are being made to pay extra property taxes for a settlement between the city and motorist Floyd Dent. Dent was beaten during a traffic stop in January, and the assault was videotaped.