Being a foster child is often not an easy road to travel, and the path becomes even more difficult to navigate when it’s time for college.
Fewer than 10 percent of former foster youth nationally enroll after high school and fewer than 3 percent eventually earn a degree. About 13,500 youth are in the Michigan foster care system run by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund wants to help those kids to go on to school.
At a recent benefit dinner, it raised $63,170 for scholarships through the Michigan Education Trust (MET), the Michigan Department of Treasury’s 529 prepaid college tuition program. About 225 people attended the event at the Waterview Loft at Port Detroit.
So far this year, MET has raised $106,746 for the scholarships.
Thanks to those dollars, more than 500 foster youth will receive college scholarships.
“Many youth who have experienced foster care want to go to college, but they have barriers that are not faced by other teens interested in pursuing a higher education,” says Robin Lott, executive director for MET. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors and guests, we can make the dream of college a reality for students exiting foster care.”
The Fostering Futures Scholarship provides eligible foster youth with scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room/board, books, and supplies/equipment required for enrollment. The FFS is available to students on a first-come, first-served basis.
A partnership between MET and MDHHS makes Fostering Futures Scholarships possible.
“I look forward to these events every year because of the opportunity they provide to foster youth, and because of the incredible partnerships that we have to make dreams a reality for them,” says MDHHS Director Nick Lyon.
Donations to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund can be made by clicking here. Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund is a Section 170 (c) non-profit organization. All contributions are eligible for a federal tax deduction.
Since 2012, fundraising efforts have totaled more than $1.2 million, with all funds awarded as scholarships in the year they were raised.
For more information on the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund please click here.