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Muskegon Students Embark on Life-Changing Journey to Africa Joined by County Clerk, Circuit Court Judge, and Family Division Judge

County Clerk Karen Buie, Judge Annette Smedley & Judge Jenny McNeill
County Clerk Karen Buie, Judge Annette Smedley & Judge Jenny McNeill to travel with kids to Africa

Muskegon, MI – June 23, 2024 – The Class of 2024 from Muskegon’s Kids Free Trip to Africa program is set to depart this Thursday for an extraordinary educational journey to Ghana. This year’s trip will be notably special as three esteemed elected officials, Author Tracee Bruce, and Muskegon Heights Teacher Sharlundra Ellis will join the students.

Muskegon County Clerk Karen Buie, Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Annette Smedley, and Presiding Family Division Judge Jenny L. McNeill will accompany the students on this transformative trip. They will be joined by children from Ypsilanti Community Schools in Ghana, offering a unique opportunity for cross-community interaction and learning.

Judge Jenny McNeill highlighted the significance of this initiative, stating, “For many years I’ve witnessed Paul Billings do so much to help our local communities, but his most impactful contribution is the creation of The Kids Free Trip To Africa. The trip is an amazing opportunity for local youth to gain a greater understanding of history and global diversity, which will change their lives. I am thrilled to be able to participate in this experience.”

Echoing this sentiment, County Clerk Karen Buie said, “I am so blessed and excited to be a part of this incredible, unique, and life-changing journey of exposing our youth to their heritage. We will immerse ourselves into the culture of Africa, our Motherland, and enrich our lives with the knowledge of our ancestors.”

The community is warmly invited to join the send-off event at the Mayes and Wright Media Center, located at 1877 Peck Street, Muskegon, MI. The event will begin at 2:30 PM with a community prayer. The Kids will leave at 3pm. Given that this will be the first time flying for many of the children, your presence will provide much-needed encouragement and support.

Transportation to the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids is generously being provided by Bishop Avery Burrell and Christ Temple Church.

For those who wish to make a last-minute donation to the Kids Free Trip to Africa 2024 Journey, please visit Your contributions have made it possible to send dozens of children to Ghana, thanks to the immense support from the community.

For media inquiries, please contact: Robert Roundtree
Phone: 231-727-5007

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