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Family Futures held the 26th annual Service to Children Awards on April 29th, 2014. The event was emceed by George Heartwell Mayor of Grand Rapids. The 2014 award recipients are:

Marlene Vitasinski-Booker T. Washington Volunteer Award

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kent County (CASA)-Community Group Professional Award

Tanya Muehlbauer-Christine Nelson Professional Award

Mary Hockwalt-Lifetime Child Advocate Award

Urban Core Collective (UCC)- Outrageous Collaboration Award

* As an intern at Family Futures I worked very close with my Mentor Brett Atwood on this project. The Service to Children Awards is a huge event to the families, volunteers and the community of Grand Rapids Michigan and myself as this served as my main project that I was in charge of. I served as the main contact with the interviewees, interview locations and scheduling for this project. The overall event that you see was filmed by Brett Atwood and later edited by me. All opening and closing  graphics and design was designed by me and edited in Adobe After Effects.


SAPAT (sexual assault prevention action team) is a community group that seeks to get sexual assault awareness out to the community. This video has been created for sexual assault prevention month (April) tacking the commonly believed myths about sexual violence. Each member of the Grand Rapids local community is holding a hand written sign that blows up the myths.

YWCA West Central Michigan
Family Futures
Kent County Health Department

*These images were shot and edited  my self and photographed by Emily McCarty.


On March 7, 2014 in Grand Rapids Michigan, an Area Summit was held on Targeted Universalism. A presentation was given by Professor john a. powell along with break out and Q&A sessions. The purpose of this summit is first deepening our understanding of targeted universalism, what it is and what it is not. To consider ways to establish or refine programs and approaches that incorporated the principles of targeted universalism and lastly to identify action items or additional resources needed to advance and equity agenda for Grand Rapids. This event was held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center and hosted by the National Equity Project.

*This event  was shot  and edited by me.


On March 21, 2014 Partners for a Racism Free Community presented awards to local organizations who have been committed in helping make Grand Rapids a racism free community. Family Futures is one of the many organizations who were recognized by making Full Partner. This event was held at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center down town Grand Rapids campus.

*This event was shot and edited by me.



This panel is hosted by Family Futures in collaboration with Grand Valley State University Children’s Enrichment Center, Kent County (CASA) Court Appointed Special Advocates and D.A Blodgett-St. John’s. To give the community an understanding of what Child Abuse Prevention is and the many different ways organizations in Grand Rapids work separately and together to help prevent and treat those victims. This event was put together by Carly Brooks, Family Futures Violence Prevention Intern and hosted by Bryana Hopkins Family Futures Volunteer Manager.

*This panel was shot  and edited by me.


The 2014 recipient of the Booker T. Washington Volunteer Award is Marlene Vitasinski. Over 16 years as a CASA volunteer, Marlene has worked with 31 children to ensure they have the best care and resources available. Even in the grimmest situations, she is able to find the good. Not only does she advocate for children, she also advocates for their parents, to strengthen and keep families united. Congratulations, Marlene!

*This interview was shot by both my mentor Brett Atwood and I, then  edited my me.


The 2014 recipient for the Lifetime Child Advocate Award is Mary Hockwalt. Mary has been committed to children since 1975, when she taught as a preschool and kindergarten teacher. Throughout her life, she has helped children in many areas. As Executive Director of Head Start for Kent County for the last 13 years, Mary has used her leadership to secure National Association for Young Children accreditation and start collaborations that expanded Head Start. Congratulations, Mary!

*This interview was shot by both my mentor Brett Atwood and I, then  edited my me.


The 2014 recipient of the Christine Nelson Professional Award is Tanya Muehlbauer. Tanya is devoted to children’s safety. As the Children’s Prevention Program Manager at the Children’s Assessment Center, she informs children of the rights they have to protect their bodies. Over 15,000 children including every third-grader in Grand Rapids Public Schools will be educated this year thanks to Tanya and her staff. Congratulations, Tanya!

*This interview was shot by both my mentor Brett Atwood and I and some assistance from Emily McCarty, then edited by Brett.


NEW AWARD!! The 2014 recipients of the Outrageous Collaboration Award a New Award from Family Futures is the Urban Core Collective (UCC). The Urban Core Collective’s mission is to increase and improve the number of services provided for core need of people of color and families living in Grand Rapids. These organizations strive to make life in the urban core better for its residents. This community effort includes Baxter Community Center, Family Outreach Center, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Grand Rapids Urban League, Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, and United Methodist Community House. Congratulations to (UCC)!

*This interview was shot by both my mentor Brett Atwood and I, then  edited by Brett.


The 2014 recipients of the Community Group Professional Award is Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kent County (CASA). CASA is a group of over 200 volunteers that follow abused or neglected children through the many aspects of the system. They are constant companions to these children, and they work to ensure they serve the interests of the children as best they can. Congratulations to (CASA)!

*This interview was shot by myself , then edited my me.



A commercial created with partner Patrick M. My role on this was Producer/ Writer. Most of the children in the this commercial were cast by Patrick and I.

A time warp I shot and edit myself, I think I want to do more of these in the future.

This is a segment from our senior magazine show called the Arts I co-produced, shot and edit with partner Josh G.These two were some cool friends of Josh G. I had an awesome time working on this segment!

This is a segment called Ferris Trolls where we prank people on campus. In this particular one we up hold a deal on a ransom. My role on this segment was camera operator/editor, my partner & producer for this segment was Carissa H. This segment was challenging and fun especially when people are waiting to see what you do next.

The first installment to this semesters Ferris Trolls with Host and good friend Lonie D. Here we prank people in the Flite Library by making the library atmosphere a litter more alive. I served as camera operator/editor.

Program Spotlight is a segment about highlighting a degree program at Ferris State University. The students that we interviewed were awesome to speak about their program. While filming classroom settings I learned a lot about this program myself, they have a media aspect to it which I thought was very cool . I worked as camera operator/editor and my producer was Lauren C.

On this Program Spotlight I served as producer/camera operator with camera operator/editor Colby W. A small story behind this segment is that I sought out a program that did not have much visual stimulation. So I took it as a challenge to produce it as such with the editing talents of Colby W. . When I pitched the idea to the professors and student of the program they immediately got excited and I even more.

Working on this segment was pretty cool having never seeing it in person before. My producer Carissa H. and I did not mind the frigid BR air as long as we got to film some cool diving shots. I served as camera operator/editor. Our talent Dakota F. was cool and love the outcome of how we featured his extreme passion.

On this segment I served as camera operator/editor alongside producer Chris Z. This is a segment where we just get people opinions and outlooks on a subject.

On this segment I served as producer/camera with camera operator and editor Alex B. . Here I wanted to see what people would do if they were our school mascot Brutus.

On this segment we took a look into the new Eatery downtown Big Rapids MI. On this segment I served as camera operator/editor and co-producer with partner Patrick M. as my producer. Thought this segment was really “sweet”.

This segment I produced with Carissa H. as my camera operator/editor. For this sound effects I chose to show off a traditional sorority step with my soror Briana B.

During this exciting football game I ran the audio board for the student remote production truck. Which is awesome because its brand new truck and we won the Anchor/Bone Classic!


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