Zoe Ruffin is an MSU junior majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcast and a minor in sports. Ruffin was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up she knew that she wanted a career involving sports and where she could be vocal. She began to play sports which made her love them even more and allowed her to learn a lot about them. Ruffin is on track to obtaining her bachelor’s degree in the near future and is excited about starting her career as a news anchor. Ruffin wants to use her skills to shine light on people whose stories are left in the dark.
Enrollment for the new Lansing Tech High School has begun according to an announcement made at the April 6, school board meeting.
The school will be held at a familiar building in Lansing that has been home to other career and technological education (CTE) programs.
“We have this great resource here in Hill High School that hasn’t really been utilized and it’s a large footprint. And I’m really happy that the district is in the position where we can reinvest in this resource that not only helps the community, but also helps our students have another path towards being successful once they leave our district,” Rachel Willis, LSD board president said.
The Hill is a vocational center known for training students firsthand and giving them confidence for their future, which is the goal for the new high school. “… we know that having children learn academics is incredibly important, but we also know that so many kids wanna have life skills, they wanna have job opportunities, they wanna be able to get their hands dirty, really dig into incredible learning opportunities…,” Ben Shuldiner, LSD superintendent said. Lansing is already a CTE district, so this addition will be more career based.
“Reading, writing, arithmetic, ELA, math scores, all of that’s important. It is equally as important that we have career technical ready students,” Willis said.
The Lansing school district notices that most CTE programs are only available to upper class students, overlooking 9th-graders.
In March of 2020, COVID-19 made its way to the United States causing an economic downturn. This impact caused about 15.9% of small business revenue to decrease in Michigan within five months of the initial outbreak.
For Aaron McClinton, owner of MaCnificent Photo Booth, the pandemic helped his small business grow into a one-stop shop.
McClinton started his photography business in 2019 right before the pandemic.
“I was just starting to get my feet wet,” McClinton said.
Once the virus spread and forced his business to shut down, McClinton became discouraged.
“I almost gave up … it was tough. But the passion for it, when you are doing something you love, it is hard to let go of it,” McClinton said.
His love for photography and entertainment helped him survive the effects of the pandemic while still being able to save his business.
“When COVID hit, it really humbled me. It gave me a lot of time to think … you felt like you were on top and then you go back down and now I had to get back out, to rebrand myself,” McClinton said. Erica McClinton, Aaron’s sister, and business partner had the opportunity to watch him transform his business during these unforeseen times.
“When COVID hit he kept thinking of different ideas … of what he could do to grow the business.
Starting a new business is hard enough in normal times but there is no denying that a pandemic adds challenges to that process that are unimaginable. “I was just starting to get my feet wet,” Aaron McClinton said when describing how COVID-19 affected his business.
McClinton started his photo-booth business in 2019 not realizing that he was going to have to shut right back down because of this virus. But Aaron did not let this minor hiccup stop him.
“When COVID hit … I started to do virtual photo-booths,” McClinton said.
Once the pandemic began to ease up in 2021, Aaron was looking forward to expanding his business. He heard about the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and decided to apply.
“If I could do a backflip, I would,” McClinton said once he found out that he was chosen for LEAP.
LEAP One and All is a program in which 20 Lansing entrepreneurs are selected and provided with etiquette training to help grow their businesses. The program is two-months long and participants are awarded $2500 following their completion.
Darrien Gibson, owner of Elite Eatery LLC, can already see the success LEAP is going to bring to his company.
“I know the destination I want to go to but the relationships that I’m building …