- Create transitions that lead to success in college and career for Western Michigan University students from foster care ages 18 to 25 years old.
- Develop a community of scholars among WMU students who have aged out of foster care, and create a safe community to deconstruct and reconstruct identity.
- Educate WMU students from foster care and their support network to enhance their professional skill set.
- Transform WMU students from foster care by integrating experiences from students’ past to build opportunities for their future.
The Seita Scholars Program is part of a larger initiative to change the college going paradigm of youth in the foster care system. Currently, only around 2 percent to 4 percent of youth from the foster care system will earn a college degree (Casey Family programs, 2010). By the end of summer, the Seita Scholars Program will have 49 graduates, and graduation rates far above the national average.
In addition to graduating at rates above the national average, Seita Scholars are participating in a wide array of skill building activities on and off campus. Scholars have:
- Made the Dean’s List in colleges across campus.
- Studied abroad in a variety of countries including Italy, Spain, Australia, and Argentina.
- Served as assistants in the residence halls on campus.
- Participated in club and varsity sports.
- Held leadership positions in student organizations across campus.
- Spoken at conferences across the nation and advocated for youth in foster care.