STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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This special reporting project wrapped up in May 2017. Read more.

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The Real Estreya
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As the year winds down, many of us are preparing for a much-needed break from work or school to celebrate the holidays. I don't know about you, but if there's one thing I'm looking forward to other than food and family, it's time to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and podcasts.

When your schedule allows for it, here's some recommended reading and listening for State of Opportunity fans: 

1. Not Safe to Drink, a Michigan Radio documentary

The Flint Water Crisis has been on State of Opportunity's radar since it first began. Michigan Radio's hour-long documentary Not Safe to Drink just aired this week and it provides a comprehensive, riveting overview of how the crisis came to be, from start to finish. As you listen, keep these facts about Flint in mind

Over half the city's population is black Nearly half of the population lives below the federal poverty level One in four people living in Flint is under the age of 18 Only 11% of Flint residents over the age of 25 have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 25.9% of Michigan residents The median household income in Flint? $24,834. That’s compared to a median income of $48,411 for the entire state of Michigan

2. From Bridge Magazine, "He's a college senior with a 3.4 GPA. And he's homeless."

This heartwarming story about Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student Ramone Williams shows how rising tuition costs affect students on a day to day basis. As author Ron French describes

Williams is a college senior, reports a 3.4 grade point average and says his ambition is to work in radio, TV or information technology. He’s also homeless, sleeping on campus and searching bulletin boards for student events serving food. He works two part-time jobs. That money is enough for tuition or a place to live, but not both. Williams is choosing a degree over a home. “My worry isn’t where I’m going to be at night,” Williams said. “My worry is how am I going to complete what I need to do?”

The story has generated so much attention that Bridge has published an additional article explaining how readers can help students like Williams, who is part of a campus-based support program at EMU. 

3. Bringing Up Detroit

The latest installment in Michigan Radio's year-long series debuted today. Bringing Up Detroitexamines the lives of four Detroit families as they navigate the city's often unpredictable school systems, economy, transportation networks, and neighborhoods. In this last piece from Zak Rosen, you'll meet a grandma trying to balance work, family, and life in the city when injury strikes. 

Do you have something to add to this list? If so, let us know in the comment section below. 

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