Introducing Our Newest Board Member, Charlsie Dewey!

In January, the CYC added Charlsie Dewey, a local journalist, to our board of directors. The board members work very hard behind the scenes to make sure everything at the CYC runs smoothly. Having a local journalist be involved is very special, as she understands the importance of writing and publishing as a way to empower students. We are so lucky to have board members that are just as excited about writing as we are! Charlsie answered a few question for us, take a look at her interview to see what the cool, creative person behind the scenes at the CYC is like. 

CYC: What made you want to become involved with the CYC?

CD: I was introduced to the CYC when Lori asked me to come and talk to a group of students about being a journalist. I really enjoyed the experience and thought that the work the organization was doing was really important. Additionally, my elementary school had a book-publishing program that helped encourage students to write stories, which would then be published each week. I would turn in a story and the next week I would get it back bound and typed and it kept me believing that I would someday be doing this for a career. So I really believe the CYC’s work could help several children believe in their ability to become creative writers, artists or something else that they hope to be.

CYC: If you had a theme song what would it be?

CD: I had to look at my playlist for this one. I’m going to go with a song from one of my favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac, “Don’t Stop.”

CYC: What do you do in real life?

CD: I currently work as a reporter for the Grand Rapids Business Journal and as a freelance reporter for the Windy City Times. I am lucky to get to spend my days writing articles about interesting people, doing some really cool things.

CYC: What is the coolest thing that the CYC does?

CD: I think everything the CYC does is really cool, but I think if I were a student I would definitely want to be involved with the Press Club.

CYC: Do you have any pets?

CD:I have a cat named Scout. I named her after one of the main characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, which is one of my favorite books.

CYC: If you were a food, what would you be?

CD: If I were a food I would probably be a burrito from Chipotle, because they say you are what you eat and I’ve consumed an awful lot of Chipotle burritos in my life.

The CYC Brainstorming Bash!

Last Wednesday, the CYC hosted a grand soirée in our brand new space on Wealthy Street. Some of the most creative people in all the land were invited to dream up ways to make the new space inspiring and fun.

We were lucky to have so many creative and hard working volunteers to help make the space look warm, inviting, and fun. By the night of the party, no corner was left undecorated. Lights were strung up, tiny hot air balloons hung, and tables were covered with refashioned coffee bags, mason jars, and tea lights. We even had a talented accordionist to set the mood and inspire whimsical, innovative ideas.

Unbenounced to us, we discovered the new space is home to a mysterious, globetrotting adventurer, Captain H. Tanney. The Captain was unable to attend the party as sudden business demanded attention in the south of Greenland. We received a note apologizing for the absence and encouraging the kids to keep writing, but are still unclear as to who this Captain is and what his or her mission is… regardless of the absence, the party went off without a hitch.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and for all of the creative ideas we collected during the party. We couldn’t have done it without Paul Lee of The Winchester’s generous donation of drinks, Drew Melton’s beautiful stamp design, City Antiques for providing unique party decor, Terry Johnston’s photography from stellafly, and last but especially not least, our party planning volunteers David Wenzel, Dustin Tinney, Laura Naughton, and Jonathan Williams.

Meet Katrina McEntee, our new Program Intern!

The CYC is excited to welcome aboard our new program intern, Katrina McEntee. Katrina has been working closely with the CYC’s Tutoring Program creating new writing prompts, organizing, and recruiting volunteers. Working at the CYC with Katrina is fun, and we have enjoyed getting to know her. We asked her a few questions about her favorite things so you can get to know her too!

CYC: What is the most exciting part of your internship with the CYC?
KM: The most exciting part of my internship is the opportunity to help create and build the new building and get involved with an awesome local non-profit.

CYC: What is your favorite place to be in Grand Rapids?
KM: My favorite place in Grand Rapids is wherever my friends and family are. If my family is in town, XO is my favorite place. If it’s date night, my favorite place is a movie theatre or Reserve. When I am out with my friends, it has to be Stella’s or Hopcat.

CYC: Where are you from?
KM: I am from a lot of places. Born in California, lived in van for a while (not as weird as it sounds), did some time in Missouri, then ended up here in Michigan. Now I live in Grand Rapids, and my family home is on the opposite side of the state in Lexington, right on Lake Huron.

CYC: It sounds like you have traveled quite a lot, out of all your travels, what is the best adventure you have ever been on?
KM: The six weeks I spent in South Africa definitely count. Shark diving, mountain climbing, the occasional blown up building- all great fun. Moving across the state and going out on my own was an amazing adventure, if you consider paying bills and rent exciting. All the road trips I’ve taken to Florida with my best friends were a special adventure. We locked the keys in the trunk in Georgia, got a speeding ticket in Kentucky, and stayed in a dingy hotel that was home to a group of circus performers. I could go on, but I won’t.

CYC: Do you have a favorite quote?
KM: “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”-Albus Dumbledore (who is a real person. I know he is.)

CYC: Do you have a favorite place to read or write?
KM: One of my favorite places to read is on the bus. It’s quiet, no one bothers me, my cat isn’t sitting on my face…bliss. I do my best writing in strange places at strange times, like at 2 AM scribbling on a bit of paper I found on the floor or standing at the kitchen counter, inspired by mac and cheese.

CYC: When you aren’t at the CYC, what do you do?
KM: When I am not at CYC I am in class, working at the library, browsing Doctor Who fanfiction, or taking pictures of my cat for the Internet. I also dabble in working out and watching Alaska State Troopers.