Event in Grand Rapids raises $38,000 for Foster Futures Scholarship fund


Guests at the June 24 Fostering Futures Scholarship fund-raiser at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park enjoyed dinner, music, raffles, and a silent auction (shown above).


from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
with notes from Cynthia Price,

Legal News

Youths exiting foster care in Michigan will have more financial support thanks to  the generosity of 180 people who attended the second annual Fostering  Futures Scholarship Event in Grand Rapids.

The event at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on Thursday night, June 24, raised $37,900 for Michigan’s Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund.

Attendees enjoyed dinner and music, placed bids on items in a silent auction and bought raffle tickets for prizes – all for the benefit of Michiganders who have been in foster care.

The Michigan Education Trust, the state’s 529 prepaid college tuition program within the Michigan Department of Treasury, organizes the event in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“The generosity of people from the Grand Rapids area and around the state will help foster youths go to college and realize their dreams,” said Robin Lott, executive director of MET. “Education is vitally important to Michigan’s young people and to the state itself. However, many foster youths lack the support and financial resources that other young people have. That’s why Fostering Futures Scholarship is so important.”

Seventy percent of youth exiting foster care nationally say they want to go to college. But fewer than 10 percent who graduate from high school enroll in college, and fewer than 1 percent of those graduate from college, according to Casey Family Programs.

Thursday’s program included the presentation of a special award to state Sen. Peter MacGregor of Rockford, who sponsored legislation eventually signed into law that created the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund.

Money raised included $15,000 from AT&T that was presented to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund during a ceremony at the event.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship  provides eligible foster youth with scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room/board, books, and supplies/equipment required for enrollment on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must complete one application per academic year.

To be eligible, students are required to have been in foster care due to abuse/neglect on or after their 13th birthday, to be an undergraduate attending a Michigan public or private four-year college/university or a community college at least half time, and to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as set by the college or university. There is no upper age limit for a student to receive the funding.

Applications for the 2016-2017 school year ended June 30, but to apply online for a future year, students should visit www.michigan.gov/setwithmet/0,4666,7-237-61346-331411--,00.html

Anyone who could not attend the Grand Rapids event can make donations to the MET Charitable Tuition Program by visiting the Fostering Futures Scholarship donation paysite at https://www.thepayplace.com/mi/treas/metcharitable/billpreview.aspx

All contributions to the MET Charitable Tuition Program are eligible for a state income tax deduction.

The 2016 Fostering Futures Scholarship Event – Detroit is Sept. 22 at Joe Louis Arena.