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FSM 4th Annual Statewide Summit Toolkit

On May 22nd, 2015 FSM held its 4th Annual Statewide Summit where our network discovered how to #MakeYourMarkFSM!

Thank you to all of those who were able to come out and show support, the Summit was a huge success! This toolkit provides you with many resources that were relevant at this year's summit.



You will find: Presentations from the workshops, handouts that were given during the workshops, links to FSM's guides, and how this all relates to the experience of foster care and higher education.

FSM 2015 Program Summary

Session 1 Workshops:

Our Future is So Bright, We've Gotta Wear Shades: FSM Initiative Developmental Evaluation Summary

Maddy Day, MSW, Director of Outreach & Training, Center for Fostering Success, Liz Brass, LLMSW, Data Analyst, Fostering Success Michigan

Join Liz Brass and Maddy Day as they discuss the recently completed FSM
Developmental Evaluation. During this session presenters will share key findings in the
evaluation and provide highlights of the next steps in the growth of the FSM initiative.
Presenters will engage participants in a feedback discussion about how we can
continue to move toward our goal of 60% college attainment for students who
experience foster care by the year 2025.

Be the Leader You want to Follow!

Lorraine McKnight, M.A., L.P.C.-S, Senior Career Coach at the University Advising
and Career Development Center at Eastern Michigan University

Leadership is described as a skill we should all possess! Attendees will learn how to
identify and develop leadership skills, leading to self-confidence in all areas of life.
For 13 years Lorraine has worked to help EMU students and alumni find internships
& employment based on their goals, values, education and skills. Lorraine presents
career development and planning workshops at EMU and the community and is
certified in the administration and interpretation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Million Dollar Ideas:  The Enterprising Youth Program, Increasing Economic Opportunities for Youth with Foster Care Experience

Khadija Walker-Fobbs, Director of Development & Community Partnerships for the
Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI), Sheila Brown, Program Coordinator,
Enterprising Youth Program, Jessikia Vaughn Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate, Wayne State University

This presentation will help attendees think about different approaches to engage
youth and promote higher education and employment skills that are outside the
traditional way of doing things. The Enterprising Youth Program (EYP) increases
economic opportunities for youth with foster care experience through business
development, self-employment, job training and developing social capital.

Grad School 101: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Pursuing your Graduate Education

Brittany Bartkowiak, MSWc 2015 FSM Student Ambassador

If you or a student you work with is considering going to graduate school, this
workshop is for you! This workshop will introduce attendees to the various stages
involved in the graduate school process including preparation, school selection,
application, attendance, and success upon arrival. Financial aid and available
supports will also be discussed. Drawing from real experiences of current graduate
students who have experienced time in foster care, this workshop will introduce
attendees to the common challenges and benefits of getting a master’s degree.
Workshop attendees will leave with a roadmap through the graduate school process,
knowledge of relevant resources, and strategies for success.

The Pillow Effect

Ingham County Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI) works to provide a new pillow and pillowcase  to transition young people who are entering foster care. The idea is to provide a very comforting and safe place to lay their head at night in an unfamiliar situation throughout their foster care experience and beyond. MYOI youth decorate the pillowcases with positive phrases such as "Be Strong" and "You are Amazing". Each pillowcase is then stuffed with a brand new pillow and provided to Ingham County youth at the time they enter foster care. Summit attendees were invited to participate in decorating pillowcases for this wonderful cause.

Session 2 Workshops

“Help! My student won’t text me back!”: Promoting Positive Student Engagement

Tim Liggins, DHHS Campus Coach, Seita Scholars Program, Western Michigan
University, Angela Hoffman, M. Ed., Campus Coach, Blavin Scholars Program,
University of Michigan

Have you ever asked yourself: “How can I promote the engagement of disengaged
students?” In this workshop, experienced campus coaches Tim Liggins and Angela
Hoffman will explore the definitions and patterns of engagement between students
and professionals. Participants will learn strategies to promote positive student
engagement through a collective brainstorm, group dialogue, and case study

Strong Programs Lead to Strong Students:  Post-Secondary System Partnerships

John Emerson, M.Ed., Postsecondary Education Advisor, Casey Family Programs

This interactive workshop will focus on six core program elements that have been
found to be essential for developing a support initiative for college students
coming from foster care including: designated leadership, Internal and external
champions, collaborations w/ community partners, data driven decision making,
staff/peer support and professional development, sustainability planning.
Exemplars of each element will provide attendees with an understanding of how
two and four year colleges have responded to these elements in their programs
growth. Discussions will focus on the barriers that attendees have faced at their
colleges and communities to address the support needs of students coming from
foster care or homeless experiences.

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Supporting Students

Shantel Crosby, LMSW, Wayne State University Social Work Doctoral Candidate,
Beverly Baroni, PhD, LMSW, Principal, Clara B Ford Academy, Angelique Day,
PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Wayne State University

This workshop will provide an overview of childhood psychological trauma and how
it affects youth academic functioning. It will also explore both student and
professional perspectives on how trauma impacts students in the classroom and
approaches for how to address student trauma responses when they manifest.
Workshop attendees will gain knowledge and strategies for supporting current and
former foster youth using trauma-sensitive approaches, which may be vital for
engaging this traditionally trauma-exposed youth population.

Student Summit!

Jamie Bennett, MSW Fostering Success Coach Training and Certification
Coordinator, Western Michigan University Ronica Hamilton, MA, Senior Campus
Coach, Seita Scholars Program, Western Michigan University

Coaches Jamie Bennett and Ronica Hamilton will facilitate an open discussion that
will allow students to reflect on the events of the day and to explore their role in
this work and within the FSM network.

Session 1 Workshop Presentations and Handouts

Please see the right side of the page for attachments. 

Million Dollar Ideas:  The Enterprising Youth Program, Increasing Economic Opportunities for Youth with Foster Care Experience Presentation 

FSM Summit Workshop: Developmental Evaluation of Fostering Success Michigan

Session 2 Workshop Presentations and Handouts

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Supporting Students Presentation 

Strong Programs Lead to Strong Students:  Post-Secondary System Partnerships Links and Documents:


FSM Guides

As part of our resourcing strategy, we have created a number of "Getting to know.." Guides for our partners to increase their knowledge of higher education attainment for students who have experienced foster care. The guides include: higher education resources, Affordable Care Act, financial aid, youth and alumni of foster care, child welfare for educators, TRIO programs in Michigan: eligibility and institutional information, and a transition checklist. All guides are available in a PDF format.

Fostering Success Michigan Stories Page

On our stories page, we showcase stories from students and have special sections for Brittany's Blog. Here you will also be able to see read the collective poem read at this year's summit. If you were at student who participated in this year's summit - we would like to hear from you! Send us an email at for more information.

2015 FSM Student Advisory Board Collective Poem

The 2015 FSM Student Advisory Board compiled a collective poem entitled "I Wish, I Wish, I Am". The poem reveals what the students wish professionals knew, what they wish someone had told them earlier, and how they are making their mark. 

Your donations help make a difference

Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline." 

Make a Donation