State of Opportunity State of Opportunity is a project aimed at exposing the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.
State of Opportunity

State of Opportunity

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State of Opportunity is a project aimed at exposing the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.More from State of Opportunity »

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Free day care changed this family's future. An anonymous donor made it possible.

Among the hundreds of stories produced by the State of Opportunity team was one about a Hillsdale family, Amanda and Mike Hood, and their two young daughters. Their story put a spotlight on the challenges low-income families face in finding affordable child care and preschool.

Free day care changed this family's future. An anonymous donor made it possible.

In-home visits, education for families help reduce infant mortality in Michigan

Too many Michigan babies are dying. For every 1,000 babies born in our state, roughly seven won't make it to their first birthday. That's a full point higher than the national infant mortality rate. When you break that down by race, the numbers are more disturbing.

In-home visits, education for families help reduce infant mortality in Michigan

State of Opportunity reporters on what has, and hasn't, changed for Michigan's low-income families

The State of Opportunity team began its work in 2012. Since then, they've produced hundreds of stories exploring the barriers to success that low-income kids and families in Michigan face. Now, that important project is wrapping up.

State of Opportunity reporters on what has, and hasn't, changed for Michigan's low-income families

Pushed Out: A documentary on housing in Grand Rapids

Don Norman settles into his chair, and pulls his blanket up to his chest. On the TV, Dick Van Dyke is about to solve a murder. The room is warm, shades drawn. It's a good old house. A bit of plaster is coming off the ceiling in the corner, but the house is neat. Every shelf is filled with pictures of family. Don's been here 40 years, he says. Ever since he and his wife got pushed out of their last home, when the hospital near them started an expansion and bulldozed their old block.

"I wanna be a Batman!"

Week after week for five years, we've played the same clip at the start of every State of Opportunity story. You hear three kids telling us what they want to be when they grow up: a firefighter, a ballerina, and a Batman. We've heard from countless listeners, friends, and even colleagues over the years. And they all want to know: where's Batman now? So, as my last story for State of Opportunity, I set out to track him down.

Detroit charter fights to maintain diversity as school gets whiter, wealthier

Charter schools are public schools, which means they're supposed to educate any kid that walks in the door. But a new bill making its way through the Michigan legislature could make it so that charters can give enrollment preference to certain students. Which ones? Well, the answer might surprise you.

Detroit charter fights to maintain diversity as school gets whiter, wealthier

"We're going to be separated from my dad." A family's final days together before deportation

President Donald Trump said he wanted to go after "bad hombres," but his immigration policies affect more than just those who are here and have committed crimes. Undocumented immigrants with no criminal history are also being deported. That's the case with a Michigan father of four who's been told he has to leave the country by the end of the month.

"We're going to be separated from my dad." A family's final days together before deportation

Muskegon Heights students on possible closure: "We are not a failing school."

Students in Muskegon Heights are very familiar with uncertainty. They've been threatened with school closure many times over the past several years—first because of finances, now because of failing test scores. Muskegon Heights Academy high school is one of the 38 schools the state School Reform Office says could close by the end of year if some kind of turnaround plan isn't put in place.

Muskegon Heights students on possible closure: "We are not a failing school."

Annual community breakfast in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood offers hopeful view

With award-winning restaurants and lofts going for half-a-million dollars , Detroit's midtown and downtown areas are hot right now. But the view is different out in the neighborhoods. For this week's State of Opportunity radio story, we're hanging out in the Osborn neighborhood on Detroit's east side, one of the poorest parts of the city, to see what's on the mind of residents there. This is one of those stories you'll want to listen to, not just read. Below are excerpts from some of the people we spoke to at Matrix Human Service 's annual neighborhood breakfast. On the breakfast "I'm coming here to enjoy the breakfast and get a little praying in, you know, we all need prayer, so I can come right here and get it all: a full stomach and a full heart, it's a double whammy, baby." — Johnny Brannon, Osborn resident On the need I mean just the top of my brain right now, really around just more housing, quality housing around rehab because of the mortgage crisis, a lot of homes were left

Annual community breakfast in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood offers hopeful view

A young immigrant in Michigan: "The hope is still there, but fear is really intense."

Thousands of young immigrants in Michigan today are living in a state of limbo. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to end the Obama administration's deferred action program that allowed these young immigrants to go to school, and work, without fear of deportation. Now, two months into his Presidency, the Trump White House hasn't announced its plans for the program, though the president now says he will deal with the issue "with heart." But for many young immigrants, the fear remains.

A young immigrant in Michigan: "The hope is still there, but fear is really intense."

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