State Rep. Brandt Iden this week secured final legislative approval for $500,000 to support the Seita Scholars Program at Western Michigan University – an initiative allowing more foster care youth to attend college.
The program provides scholarships for students with foster care backgrounds to attend WMU. The $500,000 in state aid would cover costs for an additional 50 students. This is the first time the program has received state support, Iden said.
“It’s a great program for individuals who have gone through the foster care system, and this funding will create an opportunity for even more kids to participate,” said Iden, of Oshtemo Township. “The Seita Scholars initiative opens doors to a better future for kids from across the state. I’ve personally met some of these students and they’re phenomenal. I’m a big believer in the program and am proud to advocate for all the good it does.”
Iden employed a Seita Scholars alum in his legislative office during his first term in the Michigan House.
“Unfortunately, national statistics show not many kids from the foster care system get college degrees. Programs like Seita Scholars will turn that around,” Iden said. “It changes lives for the better, one kid at a time.”
The budget bills are headed to Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration.