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Reflections on FSM’s first ever Student Advisory Board

I would like to welcome a brilliant colleague of mine, Tamara Toutant, as a guest writer for Brittany's Blog. I have had the privilege of working with Tamara for almost two years and have witnessed her passion and professionalism first hand. As a key player in FSM's Student Advisory Board, Tamara is "making her mark" by contributing her skills and energy to the SAB team. I am confident her words will inspire and excite you. Welcome, Tamara!

My name is Tamara Toutant and I’m currently in the process of completing my last semester at Western Michigan University. I’m in Hayworth College of Business majoring in management with minors in general business and holistic healthcare. Upon graduation I plan on taking a year off within my educational journey in order to get real life work experience. I work as a Student Ambassador for the Seita Scholars program and Student Researcher for Fostering Success Michigan. Through Fostering Success Michigan I was able to become involved in the FSM summit and SAB activities.

Having a Student Advisory Board gives students the opportunity to come together and assist with leading an event that can bring attention and change to the Foster Care system as a whole. While gaining first hand work experience, students are able to advocate on behalf of themselves and peers, while becoming more knowlageable about the work being carried out at FSM and throughout all their various partners.  For me the theme ‘Make Your Mark’ means taking responsibity in creating positive change within yourself and to become more educated on what others are doing to contribute through leaving their own marks in life.

So far I have had a very positive experience in working with SAB members and FSM staff on the planning of summit schedule and activities. This will be the first time that I have been able to attend one of Fostering Success Michigan's Summits! I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be involved in the FSM summit and look forward to be able to network and learn from all the other individuals whom will be attending the summit in May.

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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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