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Marla and Precious

Precious and Maria

Making the transition to college can be intimidating for any teen, but for kids in foster care it may be the first time they feel like they are making decisions on their own. Precious fully embraced this big change and was sure to lean into her support system along the way.

Precious is studying broadcast journalism at Wayne State University. After submitting her application, she was contacted by Wayne State campus advisor, Marla Garmo, who helped her through the application process and worked with her to find assistance available. Marla currently advises several youth who have transitioned from foster care into a collegiate setting, and although her role is specific to Wayne State, Marla shares that many colleges across the State of Michigan provide some sort of transitional resources for foster youth.

Marla is more than a campus advisor, she has taken on the role of study buddy, supporter and friend. Marla praises Precious for leaning into her support systems and surrounding herself with great people. Marla previously spent time assisting with the Foster Youth in Transition program, and notes that in her experience, teens coming out of foster care are slower to apply for college and aren’t aware of the resources available to them.

Marla shared that having at least one adult’s support can make all the difference in a teen’s ability to move confidently into life on their own. She believes that Precious has achieved a level of success because she has built a network of people who care and want to see her succeed.

Precious has embraced a number of extracurricular activities due to her outgoing personality. Since starting college, she joined the cheer team, having never cheered before. Most recently, she became a member of the world-renowned Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. As a member of AKA, she actively participates in making her community a better place to live through networking and volunteer opportunities. Throughout school and after, Precious plans to find ways to get involved in foster care and in the larger service of her community.

Both Marla and Precious recognize the great opportunity that teenagers have as they leave foster care and begin to create a life for themselves. They want to encourage these teens to find people who care and utilize available resources. To learn more about the resources available to teens, visit the Foster Youth in Transition webpage or ask whether your local Michigan college or university offers advisors or campus coaches knowledgeable in foster care transition.