Michigan’s Medicaid program will now require many recepients to work

Medicaid is a federal medical assistance program administered by the states that provides healthcare coverage to individuals and families who meet eligibility requirements, Bob Wheaton, the Public Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said. “This legislative work requirement is significant, because it is a new requirement for maintaining healthcare coverage for beneficiaries of the Healthy Michigan Plan under the Medicaid program.” Wheaton continues. The requirement in which Wheaton is referring to is the new work requirement bill, Senate Bill 897, that has recently passed vote by the Michigan House of Representatives. If passed and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder, starting in 2020, able-bodied patients between the ages of 18 and 62 will have to show proof of workforce engagement to be qualified for Medicaid. Some Michigan residents, due to their understanding of the bill, are outraged by it.

MSU sophomore is making an impact as a mentor

The year is 2010. A young man, age 12, walks into the local liquor store on Detroit’s west side and buys 20 boxes of Mike and Ike candy. To the cashier this may look like a kid with an insatiable sweet tooth on his way to school, but to Andrei Nichols, this purchase would prove to be the root of his entrepreneurial future. “My very first business venture was in seventh grade when I started selling Mike and Ikes and Now and Laters, two for $1,” Nichols said. “I did that for a week and made $50 and said ‘I could get used to this.’ And after that I really started to like business.”

Nichols then began to ask his father, who is an entrepreneur, questions about how to start a business; the ins and outs of the business world.

Incoming students are not worried about their safety, despite MSU’s recent scandals

Within the past few months, Michigan State University has taken heat for multiple scandals that put the university’s reputation in jeopardy. Recently, three former MSU football players were sentenced to 36 months of probation exactly one year after they were charged for sexual assault from a party that took place in January 2017. The university also has been left with a $500 million settlement from the Larry Nassar scandal, with $425 million to be paid to the 332 current survivors and $75 million put away in a trust fund for any future claimants. Even with the current state of events on campus, incoming freshman Lazarie Mitchell is not worried about how these events will affect her safety as a student. “I was not aware of the scandals when I applied, and I didn’t know anything about it,” she said.

“Yes Means Yes” legislation introduced in Michigan

Recently, news headlines across the United States have been jam-packed with stories about sexual assault. The #MeToo movement has been making a large splash for several months now. The case surrounding ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar has drawn national attention as several survivors of his sexual attacks came forward. Michigan State University has found itself at the forefront of discussion concerning on-campus sexual assault during recent months. The Nassar case has caused several university leaders to step down. Several reports about student athletes sexually assaulting other students have come out, giving the university a black eye that it certainly doesn’t want. All of these reports bring up questions surrounding sex education in public schools.

Michigan voters to consider green light for recreational marijuana

On April 26, the proposal pushing for a referendum on recreational marijuana was approved by a 4-0 vote. Michiganders will be able to vote on the measure during the November 6 Michigan ballot. “Adult use of cannabis is a human rights issue,” Jeffery Hank, Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Director for MILegalize, an advocacy group for the proposal, said. “As we move towards more fairness, freedom, and justice in our cannabis policy, the public will benefit.”

Like many advocates for the passing of the proposal, Hank believes that the approval of recreational usage in Michigan can bring many jobs and decrease crime rate. “[It will] … end the unnecessary 23,000-plus arrests per year of adults in Michigan every year; a horrible waste of taxpayer resources and an affront to our constitutional liberties,” Hank said.

Cycling program creates more accessibility opportunities in New York City

NEW YORK — Susan Genis has limited vision. When she’s out, she wears dark, bulky sunglasses that cover all sides of her eyes to protect the vision she has left from the sun. She doesn’t use a walking stick or need a guide dog’s help to navigate the hustle and bustle of New York’s streets – she has already been doing that for years. But when it comes to some things, Genis needs a little help. One of those things is riding a bike.

Girl Scout Troop 6000 provides stability for homeless youth in NYC

NEW YORK — Ebony Daniel didn’t expect to find herself in the situation she was in. She had just become a single mother to three young girls after losing their father to an unexpected heart attack and was living in a tiny one-room bedroom in a shelter in Queens. “My kids were devastated because they thought he would have been coming home the next day, but he didn’t wake up,” Daniel said. “Being in a shelter, there is a lot of strain.”

Daniel saw that her girls – Leilani, 12, Maliyah, 7, and Melanie, 5 – needed a change. That’s when she found out about Girl Scout Troop 6000, New York City’s first troop entirely comprised of young girls living in homeless shelters.

Refugee Appreciation Day brings the Lansing community together

On Nov. 5, people from the Greater Lansing community attended the Refugee Appreciation Day event hosted by the Refugee Development Center (RDC) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing. A reception was held to honor refugee stories from the Center and an art show was presented by the Niagara Foundation’s youth. High school students from the area participated in the art show creating  displays based on the theme “Compassion in Action.”

These displays shared the many ways that people can cultivate compassion into their daily lives and the lives of others. Mariah Shafer currently works as the senior school liaison with the Refugee Development Center and volunteers in  organization since 2007.

Michigan State University student Jazmine Skala-Wade

Students work to overcome stigma around mental illness

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 20 American adults live with a serious health condition, but people living with mental illness, believe there is a negative stigma attached to it. Michigan State University student, Jazmine Skala-Wade was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, when she was 11. “People have this idea that mental illnesses aren’t real, that you need to pray them away, that you are making it up or that you are crazy,” Skala-Wade said. “I have been judged and looked at as crazy. People have made up stories about my mental illness and I’ve been treated like I shouldn’t be smart.”

Skala-Wade said she’s doing things in college that people did not think she was capable of because of her ADHD.

Inclusion campaign aims to address discrimination on campus

Michigan State University has launched an inclusion campaign to address issues of race, gender and discrimination on campus. “Inclusion is defined as creating a living, learning and work environment where differences are valued, respected and welcomed,” said Paulette Granberry-Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and inclusion. “We’ve committed resources to the reducing the graduation gap between white students and black and Hispanic students, and we recognize there is more that we need to do to reduce the gap,” she said. In fall 2015, MSU launched the Office of Institutional Equity to oversee the university’s efforts to address discrimination and harassment based on factors such as race, gender and sex. The office allows students and faculty to file reports of discrimination on its website.