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Foster youth address public policy

July 22, 2010

KALAMAZOO--High school-aged youth who will soon age out of Michigan's foster care system will describe their experiences in finishing their education to legislators and other community leaders during a special meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 29, in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Young people from Kalamazoo, Jackson, and Washtenaw counties are expected to share their ideas and recommendations for policies and programs that could help them and other foster youth continue through college and into a career.

Sponsored by Michigan's Children, Western Michigan University, The Kalamazoo Promise and Education ReConnection in Kalamazoo County, the KidSpeak event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

The even is held in conjunction with the Seita Scholars program at WMU, which provides free tuition for former foster youth and ensures they have a home on campus year round as well as the kind of support system and safety net families usually provide.

KidSpeak, presented by Michigan's Children as a nonpartisan activity, is a public forum that empowers young people to advocate on their own behalf. Michigan's Children sponsors KidSpeak events statewide to bring youth before listening panels composed of state legislators, other public officials and community leaders to speak out on issues of concern to them. KidSpeak forums provide young people with a civic engagement experience and gives policymakers the opportunity to hear young people talk about the impact of policy on their lives. The July 29 KidSpeak event is made possible by support of the Mott Foundation.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400