Senate proclaims May as Foster Care Awareness Month in Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Senate Resolution 63, which proclaims May as Foster Care Awareness Month in Michigan.

Senator Margaret O’Brien welcomed several constituents from the Seita Scholars Program at Western Michigan University for a formal presentation of the resolution on the Senate floor.

“We have an obligation to help improve the lives of the nearly 13,000 children in foster care in Michigan,” said Senator O’Brien, R-Portage. “All children deserve a home where they are loved and respected. During the month of May, we thank the foster parents, volunteers and others who help children in foster care find permanent homes and assist them in developing the skills and knowledge to become successful adults.”

The Seita Scholars Program is part of a larger initiative to improve the educational success of youth in the foster care system by providing full-ride tuition scholarships and additional supports such as First-Year Seminar instructors and student leaders, peer leaders, other volunteers and career mentors to assist these students in completing their education.

Currently, only 2 percent to 4 percent of youth from the foster care system will earn a college degree. The Seita Scholars Program has over 100 graduates with graduation rates far above the national average.

In Michigan, there are nearly 13,000 children in foster care and 300 children who still need an adoptive family. For more information on becoming a foster parent, or to help a foster child in need, visit www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Sen. O’Brien photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorMargaretObrien.com and click Photowire under the Media Center tab.

Photo Caption: During Senate session on May 17, Sen. Margaret O’Brien (center right), R-Portage, and Sen. Judy Emmons (center left), R-Sheridan, presented a resolution recognizing May as Foster Care Awareness Month to (from left to right) Ronicka Hamilton, director, Seita Scholars Program, Center for Fostering Success, Western Michigan University; Geovany Ulario, WMU, Seita Scholars Program; Bri Simmons, WMU, Seita Scholars Program; Maggie Grimm, WMU, Seita Scholars Program; Karie Ward, sustainability coordinator, Fostering Success Michigan, Center for Fostering Success, WMU; Maddy Day, director of outreach and training, Center for Fostering Success, WMU.