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Make Your Mark on the lives of young people who have been through foster care!

#MakeYourMarkFSM: How are you making your mark on the lives of young people who have experienced time in foster care?

#MakeYourMarkFSM: How are you making your mark on the lives of young people who have experienced time in foster care?

 

That’s the theme for the 2015 4th Annual FSM Summit - Make Your Mark, chosen by an incredible group of students leading the Summit Student Advisory Board. You’ll have a chance to meet them in upcoming blog entries posted to the FSM website, and I know you’ll be just as impressed with them as I am.

In preparation for the Summit, FSM is exploring how we make our mark on the lives of young people who have experienced time in foster care. I am making my mark by working as FSM’s Student Ambassador. But I  make my mark in other ways, too: by waking up every morning and paying more attention to my future than my past. I make my mark by defying the statistics I’m sick of hearing about. I make my mark by believing that EVERYONE should have equitable access to higher education.

How are you making YOUR mark?

There are a multitude of ways to make your mark. Maybe you have dedicated your career to working with young people who were in care, like in the case of a Life Skills Coach working at a campus based support program. Or perhaps you are a foster parent who has given a home to numerous kids in care. You could be making your mark by mentoring a young person who has experienced care, or volunteering with a program that supports them.

Your mark doesn’t need to be that big, though. Any mark – no matter how big or small – is meaningful.  Making your mark can be as simple as choosing your language carefully when talking about young adults who have experienced time in care. Maybe you take special time out of your busy week to read up on foster care issues, like reading my blog as you are right now. Or perhaps you’re a teacher who has a student in foster care in your class, and you took extra time out of your day to encourage them. If you love someone who has experienced foster care or someone who works with folks who have, you are making your mark by supporting them. Sometimes what feels like a “small mark” can actually make a HUGE difference in someone’s life and leave a lasting impression.

For students who are in foster care or who spent time in foster care, you are making your mark just by being you! You don’t need to be involved in special advocacy efforts or be going into a career that works with the foster care population to make a difference. You’re making your mark by waking up every day and refusing to let the dreary statistics we hear all the time limit your capabilities.

 

However you are making your mark, we want to hear about it. Join us and others who are making their mark by posting your photo to social media (Facebook, Twitter) describing the mark you are making. Ask others to do the same! Recognize the marks that your peers and colleagues are making, as well. Be sure to include the hashtag #MakeYourMarkFSM when posting photos and statuses to social media. 

I can’t wait to be inspired by you and your mark!  I truly believe our “marks” can change the world, and I am looking forward to making them together.

Registration for the #MakeYourMarkFSM 4th Annual Summit is now open! There are only 150 available spaces this year, and registration is required! Register here today! http://fosteringsuccessmichigan.com/news-events/events/fostering-success-michigans-4th-annual-summit

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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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