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Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund Raises $34,830 for 480 Foster Youth After Grand Rapids Fundraiser

Michigan's foster care youth are eligible to receive college scholarships following a Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund Benefit Dinner in Grand Rapids organized by the Michigan Education Trust (MET) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Wednesday evening's event at VENUE3TWO in Grand Rapids was attended by approximately 120 guests who raised $34,830 for scholarships through MET, the Michigan Department of Treasury's 529 prepaid education program. 

"Fundraising is not an easy task, especially during a pandemic," State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. "I applaud the hard work our Fostering Futures Scholarship team has done to ensure there are scholarships for Michigan's foster youth. It really takes the generosity of everyone - our sponsors, donors and guests - to make the dream of college a reality for students exiting foster care."

After this year's three major fundraisers - Pizza Party on the Michigan State Capitol Lawn and Benefit Dinners in both Detroit and Grand Rapids - a total of more than $74,700 has been raised for more than 480 foster care youth. A partnership between MET and MDHHS makes Fostering Futures Scholarships possible.

This year's West Michigan honorees at the Grand Rapids Benefit Dinner were Dr. David and Mrs. Patsy Eisler. Dr. Eisler is the president of Ferris State University. Dr. and Mrs. Eisler established a scholarship endowment that will support foster care youth to have the opportunity of a Ferris State University education.

"In supporting foster youth, we are planting gardens where other people's flowers can bloom," Dr. Eisler said at the event.

Close to 11,500 youth are in the Michigan foster care system run by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, fewer than 10% of former foster youth nationally enroll in college after high school and fewer than 3% eventually earn a degree.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund provides former foster care students who may not have adequate financial resources to attend college with a scholarship. During the 2021-22 academic year, 487 students at 58 different institutions are eligible for support.

Anyone who could not attend any of the events can make donations to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund by visiting Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund is a Section 170 (c) non-profit organization.  All contributions are eligible for an income tax deduction.

Since 2012, fundraising efforts have totaled more than $1.3 million, with funds awarded as scholarships in the year they were raised. 

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Press Contacts: Danelle Gittus or Ron Leix, Treasury Public Information Officers, at 517-335-2167