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Getting to Know Devin J.!

Each month, Fostering Success Michigan features a Student Spotlight that celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of students with experience in foster care who are in one of 12 higher education support programs in Michigan. Do you know a student to spotlight? We would love to hear from you!

Meet Devin J.! Devin is a student and scholar pursuing a degree in graphic design. We recently asked Devin to share with us his various accomplishments and his future plans... Here is what he had to say!
 
FSM: Tell us a little about your [accomplishment, talent, leadership activity, etc.].
DJ: I have many accomplishments, but here are a few of them. In 2011, I built a house from the ground up. This was a big deal for me as I never would've thought I could build a house in under a year, but once I got to work, I began learning fast and it seemed to just come naturally. Another one of my accomplishments would have to be starting my own art business. So far, I have sold 30 paintings and I am in the process of putting together an art show which is going to be later this year. As for leadership activities I am the vice president of the Kent MYOI board and I am an active member on HeART (Health Advisory Resource Team) board. This is a board that is made up of different professionals who have a keen interest in supporting the health and well-being of youth served by DHS. I also serve on a non-profit organizations board called, "On My Own" which deals with youth and setting up housing for youth with no rental history. Lastly, I work at Bethany Christian services as a recruiter and I work with five children and I have the task of finding them a forever family.

FSM: What do you hope to do after graduation? Do you have a specific area of passion?
DJ:  After I graduate I plan to work in the graphic design field designing clothing or logos and work on my own business designing t-shirts, hoodies etc. 

FSM: What can professionals do to better serve students with experience in foster care?
DJ: Take more time to get to know the student not just what they might look like on paper.

FSM: What advice do you have for students thinking about going to college?
DJ: Make sure college is something you want to pursue and not something you are feeling forced to do because if it's something you want to do, you'll do better than if your heart is not in it.

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Fostering Success Michigan is a statewide initiative 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." 

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