Meet Stacy Addis

An advocate in the community, Stacy volunteers at Disabilities Advocates’ Absolutely Accessible Kent Initiative and Michigan Developmental Disability Council. She also was a former participant in Toastmasters for 10 years. In 2019-2020 we are excited that she will serve as the Student Representative on Noorthoek Academy’s Board of Directors.

Born in Grand Rapids, she attended Kenosha and Northview High School. A favorite memory is the Senior all night party. She also graduated from Aquinas College with bachelors in psychology!  Stacy greatly enjoys the lifelong learning opportunities that Noorthoek Academy has to offer over the past 5 years because of the no pressure and affordable access that it provides. The classes introduce her to a variety of topics that inspire her. Academics are a favorite pastime.

Living independently in an apartment on the SW side, Stacy rides the go bus to get around town. She exercises regularly, makes freezer meals, and is an avid reader and writer. Noorthoek Academy friends are the best family…



Legend of the Tenrec 2018

The tiny approached the elephants.

He yelled in a wee voice,

“Hello cousins”

The elephants scoffed,

“Cousin? We could stomp on you and never notice!”

Embarrassed, the tenrec rolled into a ball,

The elephants kicked him away,

Much like a soccer ball.

When he finally stopped rolling,

He opened his eyes and saw hedgehogs!

They weren’t cousins

But they were like twins.

Tiny tenrec was too fluffy to be friends

With the hedgehogs.

That evening, in the shelter,

Tiny tenrec found zookeeper John’s hair gel.

He rubbed it all over his fuzzy self,

Making his soft fur

Stiff and spikey.

The next day, the elephants no longer wanted to stomp on him

His spiky fur would hurt their feet.

The hedgehogs were impressed.

“Wow, come on over.”

The tenrec had found his tribe.

Sometimes friends are the best family.

Meet Cathy Marie Ling

Cathy is very active and inspiring in all she does! She serves on Noorthoek’s new Student Leadership Club/Aktion Club and the 2018/19 Board of Trustee’s as a Student Representative.

She has lived in Grand Rapids since 1977. In the different schools she attended, Cathy was always a teacher’s helper. She gave co-students spelling and reading tests, and then corrected them. She loves helping her teachers and learning about different things that are going on in our world! Cathy graduated from Kent Occupational HIGH school in 1979 and worked at Saint Mary’s Hospital and Hope Network. Her family was very proud of her with graduating and having a job.

When Cathy was injured at work in 1993 she couldn’t work anymore. That’s when she found out about Noorthoek Academy and how much I wanted to be a student there. Her family said, ” go for it!”

She has been a student at Noorthoek Academy for 16 years, a great 16 years!! She started in the winter of 2002. In 2018, She gave the welcoming speech at the Celebration on May 9.

Cathy enjoys volunteering at the Humane Society in Walker. She says, “The time that I’m there just flies by really fast, because, I’m doing something that I enjoy, and love doing very much!” Cathy is also a member at Grace Christian Reformed Church. She’s been a member there for 20 years. She volunteers in the clothing/ food pantry for 10 years. She has also been in their Folk Choir and Praise Team Choir.

Cathy’s mom was very special to her. They were always so close, her best friend! This is Cathy’s poem about her Mom.

Voices of our Ancestors

Do you hear your mother’s voice in the distance,
on the wind?
Whispering tales of days long gone?
Take a seat, rest,
listen as the stories weave through the trees,
looping you into the fabric of your ancestors.
Making you as one.

Meet Angie Phillips

Angie is inspiring to those around her and motivated to go
above and beyond. Last semester she initiated and coordinated a Noorthoek student food drive to contribute to the GRCC food pantry program drive. Outside her involvement in Noorthoek, she also seeks to help others by volunteering at other area non-profits while holding a job at the YMCA.

Angie has many interests including the outdoors. In the warmer months she enjoys biking and hiking on our area’s bountiful trails especially in Grand Haven. She serves as a caregiver for her father and lives with her son, Jake.

A longtime resident of Jenison, Angie graduated from Jenison High School. She has been a Noorthoek student for the past six years after her son encouraged her to do what she always wanted to by attending college. She thanks GRCC and Dr. Enders for the opportunity to attend class on the campus of GRCC. She feels blessed and wishes all students success for years to come. Angie’s 2016 poem “A Hero” expresses her gracious attitude.

When I look around at the world I live in,
I see heros everyday.
Men and women who pick themselves up
Minute by minute
to face another challenge.
Those who forge ahead with perseverance
and determination to keep on going
and learning.
I see a hero in the young man
With no word, but a beautiful grin
When he hears his name.
I see a hero in the face of a girl with a warm, bubbly hello,
and contagious smile, a mile long.
I hear a hero in the voice of one with an excited story to tell
And share with all.
A hero is the cherished loved one,
Or special friend
With a warm tender smile,
And a bear of a hug that says,
“I am proud of you”
wrapped in love.
These are the heros I see every day.

Meet Tanis Hooker

tanis-hookerTanis, a friendly and kind-hearted person has been attending Noorthoek Academy since 2013, after graduating from East Grand Rapids High School. He is very interested in athletics. He swam for the EGR swim team for 4 years – his favorite race being the 50 Free. He finished in the EGR Triathon, loves to swim, snow ski, and is challenged by rock climbing at the Higher Ground Climbing Center. He also likes to travel and cheer for his favorite Michigan football teams, yes, U of M and the Lions.

He is very involved in the Central Reformed Church. He has many friends and will always say yes to social events. His 2015 Poem called “My Church” reads:

I feel peaceful and welcomed when I enter the door.
I was an active member of youth group.
Life long friendships were made.
I hope we grow our church with more young people.

He volunteers at Kids Food Basket, Holland Home and Addie’s Pantry, and is also an Independent Business Owner for Amway. He has lots of customers who love his products.

Tanis hopes to live independently in the future. Currently, he attends a life skills program at the Mayfield campus of Grand Rapids where he is learning to overcome his visual impairment. Family is important to Tanis. Another recent poem reads:

My extraordinary grandma,
even in poor health, she prays for others.
Always listens. Never criticizes.
Her kind and generous spirit make her even more lovable.
My grandma lives life to the fullest,
inspiring me to persevere,
no matter what.

Noorthoek is a very special place for Tanis. He likes the classwork, being able to attend GRCC athletic events and being part of campus life. He especially enjoys having a voice in what and how they want to learn.