Helping Foster Kids Get To College

File photo.

File photo.

mattleman_125 Education Reports
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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - This Christmas, John Seita recalled being taken from his home and placed in foster care. But his most terrifying time was when he “aged out” and was on his own.

Research shows that 70% of teenagers in foster care want to attend college; but only 9% obtain degrees.

Without help, Seita enrolled at Olivet College and lived in a dorm. But when Christmas came with nowhere to go, his request to stay in the dorm was refused. He sneaked back and spent the entire holiday alone.

Since then, Western Michigan University, where Seita graduated, set up a program for former foster kids who receive full tuition and help with housing and book costs. It’s a model for thousands of kids who leave foster care nationally.

Western Michigan has extended the program and the former foster child, now with a doctorate, was amazed that it bears his name, the John Seita Scholars Program.

Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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