Northern Michigan in Focus: 8th Graders Cross the Straits of Mackinac

This story is about two people who really believe in what they’re doing.

The team of Mark Goethel and Stephanie and Corey Adkins take you on the adventure in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

A pair of eighth grade students from Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids paddled the Straits of Mackinac. 

The girls are Paige Peters and Sophia Christian and their nerves were high as they prepared to raise awareness about the chemical PFAS and the danger that is poses to the Great Lakes.

They both needed to finish at least 15 hours of community service to complete their International Baccalaureate Program and they decided that paddling the Straits would be the way to do it.

Christian said, “I think now more than ever it’s really important to get educated about environmental issues especially because it’s a lot more prominent now there’s a lot more environmental issues that were facing.”

This feat is no joke as the water is 37 degrees with strong currents from freighter and ferry traffic. Their eighth grade teacher and founder of ‘Stand Up for Great Lakes’, Kwin Morris, was there to root them on during their journey.

The girls can be seen making this trip fun while taking a dance break under the Mighty Mac.

With friends, family, and other bystanders cheer them on from shore, they were able to finish this incredible task and surpass their fundraising goal. The girls raised an amazing $4,100 for ‘Stand Up for Great Lakes’.

Peters said, “We want to keep the Great Lakes clean and safe for future use not only for recreational but it is a vital natural resource that we need as a human population.”

As their parents watched on, they were nothing but proud of their girls as they took on this journey to pursue something they believed in.

To donate to their GoFundMe page, click here.

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus