WMAC Newsletter - April 2017
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Happy Spring West Michigan!
WMAC Board 
Hannah Hilborn, Megan Lendman, Anna Lindner, Claira Freeman, Nic Bush, Emmeline Scwartz
Member Spotlight

Talor Musil

Housing Outreach Specialist at The Salvation Army Housing Assessment Program & Michigan's Campaign to End Homelessness AmeriCorps Program


What do you enjoy about your position?
My favorite AmeriCorps moments are when I discover someone I've worked with is now housed after months - and sometimes years - of homelessness. Their voices are proud and their words are inspiring. I enjoy witnessing the huge steps clients take toward self-sufficiency, and the empowerment that takes place within them.

Describe your service style:
Compassionate and determined.

What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?
For nearly 10 years, I was really involved in a choreographed dance. I performed many styles: tap, jazz, modern, & hip-hop

Why would you recommend AmeriCorps to someone?
AmeriCorps plugs you into your community in a meaningful, long-lasting way. National service is an opportunity to boost a community's capacity to implement positive change. For example, I recently updated a map that allows outreach teams from all over the city to know exactly where to focus their efforts. Unlike the outreach workers who are crunched for time, I was able to dedicate significant effort to this project, and now people experiencing homelessness in Kent County will be served more quickly. The underlying goal of AmeriCorps is to serve ourselves out of a position. We hope to build the infrastructure for non-profits to eventually meet their goals with us, whether that be ending homelessness, increasing literacy, or ensuring neighborhood safety. Joining AmeriCorps is joining a larger movement to better our society.

Thank you Talor for your dedication to service & to our community!!
Site Supervisor of the Month

Lisa Carter
Research Assistant & Member Coordinator for the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project

Lisa Carter is a lifelong resident of the City of Detroit. She attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Cass Technical High School. Currently, she works as a Research Assistant and Member Coordinator for the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project at Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies.

The AmeriCorps Urban Safety (AMUS) Project works to implement initiatives to increase public safety and decrease victimization in targeted neighborhoods throughout the City of Detroit. AMUS members work with residents and community groups to assist in forming neighborhood block clubs and citizen patrols, recruit and engage landlords and tenants in neighborhood safety and revitalization projects, and implement safe pathways for students who walk and use public transportation in their daily commute to neighborhood schools. Members also network and build coalitions with community organizations, including CDCs, schools, church groups, and police precincts.

As the Member Coordinator, Lisa is responsible for managing and supervising AmeriCorps members assigned to targeted Detroit neighborhoods, as well as mentoring young men enrolled in the Detroit Youth Service Corps during summer months.

Prior to her involvement with the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project, Lisa worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan’s second-largest police agency. During her career, Lisa worked in various divisions including court services, jails, the Juvenile Detention Facility, and the Training Unit. Lisa retired from the Sheriff’s Office at the rank of Lieutenant after serving more than 27 years with the agency.

In November of 2013, Lisa was elected to the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners, representing the residents of District 6. In this position, Lisa works to increase public confidence in the Detroit Police Department by providing accountability through competent, objective, and effective civilian oversight.

Lisa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Concordia University. She is also a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s School of Police Staff and Command and Central Michigan University’s Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute.

“Lisa is a dedicated leader and mentor,” stated AmeriCorps member Aimee Szabo. “Her no-nonsense approach is balanced by her availability and willingness to help at all times. Her ability to instruct and lead is exemplary. Her demonstrations, training sessions, and presentations always provide valuable, concrete examples to illustrate how our service should be completed. Lisa leads by example and her character shines through in all that she does.”

For more information about the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project, click here. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit

Thank you Lisa for your dedication to service & to our community!!

Tip of the Month


Tips for getting the most out of Beer City USA
(While not wearing an AmeriCorps logo because you know better!)


Try these free Apps to keep up on all things beer with your friends and in the city!


Untappd- Described as the beer app gold standard, this app allows you to rate and log what beers you have tried and want to try.


TapHunter- If you are already a beer enthusiast and want to make it to special taps and pourings of your faves and new flavors before anyone else, this app tracks and alerts you of just that!


Elixr- This app works kind of like Yelp and allows you to search specific drinks and get reviews that way. It tells you what bars/restaurants have that drink at the moment and allows you to make a to-do list of drinks to try.


Beer!?- You’ve just got to click on the link.


If you are into the habit of mixing and matching 6 packs, wanting to try as many beers as possible, or like to find the rare finds check out these specialty beverage stores in the area!

Martha’s Vineyard

The Crushed Grape
(This has mostly wine actually but is still a really cool store.)



Beer AND Food!?

This website allows you to check specials all over the Grand Rapids area daily and add things to your search such as food specials, places to play games ect. It’s hyer local and reliable.


WMAC Events This Month
HQ - Runaway & Homeless Youth Drop-In Center 
Global Day of Social Justice Volunteering
WMAC Board members, AmeriCorps members, and community volunteers gathered at HQ to facilitate Black History Month activities, distribute meals, and clean-up after the afternoon/evening rush! We all had an excellent time engaging in conversation about national service with the youth while playing games and doing crafts!
AmeriCorps Alumni Panel
Members from Grand Rapids and Muskegon came together to share their AmeriCorps stories and learn more about how to prepare for after their service term. They shared a meal and good constructive company!
Feeding America West Michigan
Mayor & County Day of Recognition of National Service
WMAC, LeaderCorps, AmeriCorps State & VISTA members, Program Directors, and Michigan Community Service Commission representatives met at Feeding America to help package product for distribution with the Mobile Food Truck program! The Mayor of Grand Rapids, Rosalynn Bliss, submitted a proclamation on behalf of the city recognizing the significance of national service. After packaging, we engaged in a discussion about our individual service and were able to make some great connections!  
What We're Reading!
“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” –Chinese Proverb
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Ned Vizzini

Boy is the book so much better than the movie! (But when isn't it..?)


Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris


A collection of thought provoking, real-life, hilarious essays from Mr. Sedaris' life. If you're a lover of sardonic wit, this one's for you!

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016
Rachel Kushner & 826 National

High school students comprised this book of comics, essays, etc.  after meeting for a year to discuss the best of  2016.



What We're Listening To
"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Andersen

Tycho is a music project by Scott Hansen, who
composes, writes and produces the ambient beats and sounds. 


Thievery Corporation

Formed in the mid-90’s, this band has never been Backed by a major label- but has continued to be successful.

All Them Witches

Classified as blues rock, hard rock, neo-psychedelia and stoner rock, ATW knows how to diversify!

Grand Rapids, Holland, & Muskegon

Greater Grand Rapids Area


Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival

Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2, Wealthy Street Theater (Traditional Refreshments Provided!)



Saturday, April 1 3-9:00PM, Cedar Springs Brewing Company

WestSide Stride

Recurring Wednesdays Weekly April 5-November 1 6-10:00PM


Grow Your Mind, Grow Your Garden

Saturday, April 9AM-5:30PM, KDL Walker Branch (Free Seeds!)


Italian Cooking Class

Saturday, April 8 2-3:00PM


Sunday Afternoon Live: Steam Powered Bluegrass

Sunday, April 9 2-4:00PM, KDL Cascade Branch


Cinema Labs Presents: Nosferatu

Monday, April 17 6-8:30PM, Wealthy Street Theater


Let’s Talk Shop: Q&A with a Mechanic

Monday, April 17 6-7:00PM, KDL Cascade Branch


Create Your Own Henna Tattoo

Monday, April 17 6:30-7:30PM, KDL Comstock Park Branch


How Corn Changed Itself and Then Changed Everything Else

Tuesday, April 18 7-8:30PM, GRPL Main


Give Peace a Chance Series

Wednesday, April 19 6:30-7:30PM, KDL Cascade Branch

Thursday, April 27 6:30-7:30PM, KDL Cascade Branch


Basic Electrical - Knowledge is Power

Thursday, April 20 6-7:30PM, KDL Walker Branch


HUGE Indoor Garage Sale

Saturday, April 22 9AM-4:00PM

West Michigan Works! Intro to Interviewing

Wednesday, April 26 6-7:30PM, KDL Kentwood Branch


Container Gardening with Our Kitchen Table

Saturday, April 29 1-2:30PM, GRPL Main


Muskegon Area


Haunted Michigan

Tuesday, April 4 6:00PM, Hackley Branch


Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun

Recurring Tuesdays and Thursdays April 4-April 21 7-7:30PM, Carr-Fles Planetarium


Live:Chris Wiser at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company

Saturday, April 8 8-11:00PM


History of Libraries

Monday, April 10 6:30PM North Muskegon Branch (Snacks Provided!)


Metallic Hairpin/ Brooch with MAD(L) Crafters

Tuesday, April 11 6:00PM, Egleston Branch

Wednesday, April 12 6:30 PM Norton Shores Branch

Wednesday, April 19 6:00PM North Muskegon Branch


Shifting Shorelines Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 11 6:00PM, Lakeshore Museum Center

Tuesday, April 25 6:00PM, Lakeshore Museum Center


Plain Jane Glory at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company

Friday, April 14 8-11:00PM


Pigeon Hill Sampling at Rishi’s

Saturday, April 15 4-7:00PM


Hungry for Change

Thursday, April 20 7:00PM, Beardsley Theater


Earth Fair Expo

Saturday, April 22 11:00AM-3:00PM, Montague High School


Thursday Night Music Club: Wyatt and Shari Knapp

Thursday, April 27 7:00PM, Norton Shores Library


Watercolors are Fun

Saturday, April 29 1-4:00PM, Hackley Library


Holland Area


Open Mic Night

Every Tuesday 8:00Pm-12:00AM, Park Theater


Training Session Wednesdays

Every Wednesday 5:00PM, Tripel Root


Live Music @ MAC

Every Friday, Saturday 8-11:00PM, Macatawa Ale Company


DJ, Dancing, and Karaoke

Every Friday 9:00PM-1:00AM, Village Inn


Jazz Night with My Thin Parade

Thursday, April 13 6-9:00PM, Sandy Point Beach House


Holland Ukulele Group Strum & Hum & Drum

Saturday, April 15 11:00AM-12:30PM


Lakeshore Makers: Intro to Microcontrollers

Monday, April 17 7:00PM, Herrick District Library


Get Published

Saturday, April 22 9:45AM-4:00PM, Herrick District Library


Arbor Day

Friday, April 28 9:00AM-4:00PM, Herrick District Library


World TaiChi & Qigong Cay of Peace - Community Practice

Saturday, April 29 10-11:00AM, Splash Pad

Get Inspired
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou

Celebrate Loving Yourself!


Beat the endless-Winter blues and get creative!


No time like the present!


Winter fluff? Love yo' body!

Looking to Get Involved?

If you're not on our social media - It's never too late!

Find events & resources, ask us questions, invite friends!
We're here to support you on your AmeriCorps journey.

Let's Ameri-Do This!
Newsletter created by: Nicholas Bush - WMAC Marketing & Communications Chair

Copyright © 2017 West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Heart of West MI United Way
118 Commerce Ave SW # 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Grand Rapids AmeriCorps Collaborative · 222 N. Washington Square, Suite 1 · Lansing, MI 48933 · USA

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