Make a donation!


We believe that while nurturing kids’ writing can give them access to the world, fostering their creativity may allow them to change the world.

Our mission is to prepare kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices.

At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Our programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools.


Kristin Brace

Executive Director

Published Author
MFA in Writing
Literacy Educator
Nonprofit Leadership Experience
Master Cartwheeler & Green Thumb

Brianne Carpenter

Program Manager

MFA in Writing
Published Author
Lit Magazine Publishing Experience
ESL Educator
Master Canner and Preserver

Jenny VanderBoon Knol

Curriculum & Classroom Specialist

Instructional Coach
English/Language Arts Teacher
M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership, Bilingual and ESL Education
Aspiring Unconditional Weather-Lover

Board of Directors

Sarah Jean Anderson

Board Member

Artist, Writer, & Performer
Host and Art Judge, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Grand Rapids
Counselor and Band Coach, Girls Rock Grand Rapids (GR!GR)
West Michigan Pride ACE Award Recipient for Coalition

Tony Campbell

Board Member, In Memoriam

Associate General Secretary for the Reformed Church in America
Published Author
Member of several community boards
Indiana Track & Field Hall of Fame and Recovering Ex Athlete

Lydia Clowney

Board Member, Treasurer

Tax Senior, BDO USA, LLP
Member, Early Career Council, BDO USA, LLP
Common Plant Enthusiast

Steven DePolo

Board Member

Director of Foundation Giving, GVSU
Writer, Revue Magazine
Parent of GRPS Students
Vice President, Grant Writers Roundtable
Spinner of Yarns

Cecile Fehsenfeld

Honorary Board Member, CYC Co-Founder

President/Co-owner, Schuler Books & Music
Board Member, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
First Steps Commission
Advisory Board, ACLU, West Michigan
Marathon Runner & Reader

Janelle Horvath

Board Member, Secretary

Producer, CK & CO Media Production
Writer for Corporate and Nonprofit Clients
Past Board Chair, NextGen United Way
Lover of Books and Baked Goods


Lilibeth Marvin

Board Member

Community Connector, Marvin Law Office, PC
Owner/ Principal, Isabel Events & Design
Finance & International Relations Major, MPA
Latino Talent Initiative Graduate, 2014
Lover of education and the opportunities it brings
Culture Lover + Colombiana

Lindsay McHolme

Board Member, President

M.Ed Literacy Studies & TESOL
Certified Secondary English & Sociology Teacher
Bilingual in Spanish and English
Reporter & Editorial Mentor, The Rapidian
Pie Crust Maker Extraordinaire & Fruit Juggler

Taran McZee

Board Member

Special Associate to Vice-President of Inclusion & Equity, GVSU
Motivational & Leadership Speaker
Master Degree in Higher Education
Diversity/Cultural Competency Trainer
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Professional Shower Singer

Cherish Pittman

Junior Board Member

Senior, Grand Valley State University
Film/Video Major
Scriptwriter, Director, Producer, Blogger
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
Lover of Shoes

Courtney Simmons

Board Member

Inclusiveness & Diversity Talent Manager, Herman Miller
Product of GRPS
LGR Class of 2018
Longtime volunteer for youth-serving organizations
Mother of young daughters
Keeper of many journals & speaker of many words

Kailie West

Board Member

Community Initiatives Administrative Assistant, Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation
Recent Aquinas College Graduate
CYC Creative Writing Volunteer
Passionately Involved in Community Outreach & Leadership
Eternal Dreamer & Doer of Dreams

Shawnte Williams

Board Member

Corporate Relations Officer, Mel Trotter Ministries
Thought Leader + Active Community Change Agent
Parent of GRPS students – Creative minds
Master Degree Business Administration, MBA
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated
Secretly sleeps in a crown and cape…