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We Can See It In Their Smile: The LIFT Student Market Success

Part of our mission at LIFT is to ensure that the teens we interact with become inclusive, innovative, and vibrant parts of the community. We want them to be kind leaders and confident adults who revel in their accomplishments' joys. We see these things when we look into their eyes during one of our incredible field trips, see it in their smile as they overcome a former fear, and see it in their demeanor as they gain confidence over the years of joining LIFT activities.

We saw it in our most recent event from the LIFT Middle Schoolers in Suttons Bay: the LIFT Student Market. It was an event born from the Suttons Bay Middle School (SBMS) students themselves. The students at the middle school have been brainstorming ways to raise money for their upcoming 8th-grade trip to Washington DC in October 2023, and thus the student market came to fruition. The middle school students put their hearts and souls into creating a collection of items to be sold at the market to raise money for their trip. Including real-time caricatures, student & student-staff paintings, handmade jewelry, and baked goods. Hosted at The Friendship Community Center in Suttons Bay, it was the perfect combination of younger generations coming together with older generations to share their creativity and passions.

“In this new semester, I wanted to empower the students to take more ownership over our programming activities - the idea was to offer a day to students where they were able to pick an activity and work in tandem with me to plan it out and execute it. This idea was spawned from that opportunity - but quickly grew to a monthly endeavor instead of a one-off event.” - Corrie, Middle School Program Director

The first student market was held on March 1st. It will ultimately become a monthly recurring event where all community members are welcomed and encouraged to attend to support the youth of Leelanau County. During the event, you can talk with student volunteers who have come to support, purchase handmade products, and interact with a community that loves lifting each other up.




“I would say that without a doubt this activity reflects Corrie's teaching and leadership style. The whole idea for student-led days came about because of her belief in empowering the students and the trust she has in them to recognize their potential. As this idea morphed into something larger, it started to highlight her collaborative nature and her desire to both be a part of something bigger - and to help lead others to do the same. I'm really proud of Corrie and our students for using their time and talents to help reach a goal that will benefit so many.” - Emily, The Center Program Director

We're empowering the students to invest in opportunities for their future, and we’re partnering with them in the journey to accomplish the goals they're setting. It is a beautiful representation of our mission put into action.


You can support us by donating directly to our website here and dedicating toward the 8th grade DC trip, stopping in to purchase our student contributions, or donating items for our students to use at the event! In addition, engagement and encouragement for our students are crucial contributors to their confidence and success.



“Honestly, I'm just so proud of the students for taking hold of this opportunity and putting forth so much effort in order to see it come to fruition. I'm excited to see them grow and learn and partner with each other and the community in order to invest in their trip and their peers' ability to go on this trip.” - Corrie

Thank you for your continued support, and we cannot wait to see what else unfolds for LIFT.



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