Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seita Scholars

 For youth who age out of the foster care system, the transition to adulthood and college (for those who go on to college) is fraught with anxiety, stress, and confusion. I remember my college years, and how much I depended on my parents and family, for both moral and monetary support. I can't imagine being 18, in college, and on my own.

I've learned of two groups who offer help to these kids. One is the Orphan Foundation of America. They provide scholarships, grants, mentoring, moral support, internships, and advocacy. One of their programs is the Red Scarf Project, where they assemble Valentine's Day care packages, the highlight being hand-knit red scarves. I've contributed a few red scarves to their effort.

A more local effort is Western Michigan University's Foster Youth and Higher Education Initiative. (The abbreviation seems to be FYIT - I'm not sure how that correlates with the name...!) The program focuses on outreach and recruitment; retention and well-being; and career transition and graduation. One facet of this program is The John Seita Scholars Program. This includes a tuition scholarship, as well as support to promote student well-being and academic success. Students who receive the scholarship are known as Seita Scholars.

I recently learned of an effort to knit hats, scarves, and mittens for these students. I like some of my charity knitting to have a local impact, so although I'd already sent a couple scarves to the Red Scarf Project, I knitted a scarf and hat for the Seita Scholars as well. These are pictured here. I think they both turned out well, don't you? Hopefully they'll find their way to students who agree!

(And maybe the scarf will be imbued with extra wisdom, having briefly graced this wise owl...)


  1. Awesome? Hardly. Just addicted to knitting. These scholars are like... Enablers...!