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iStock_000009278510XSmallThe Education Success Program is a program within MYOI that serves older youth ages 21-24 years old in the area of higher education.  ESP participants will be able to use their IDA accounts to make a 3:1 match on education related costs. There are dedicated ESP coordinators who work with the youth involved in the ESP program in Wayne and Kent County. They help participants create education plans, set goals and connect them with resources for success. The youth who qualify for ESP but are not currently ready to make an education match, can participate in ESP preparatory. ESP preparatory serves MYOI youth, ages 18-24, who are eligible to enroll into ESP in the future. They still attend trainings with ESP participants and participate in peer to peer mentorship. The purpose of the ESP preparatory segment is to encourage participants to create an education plan, connect them with resources and give them time to define goals while saving for higher education.

UntitledThe Park West Foundation-Blue Babies and Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative – Education Success Program teamed up to sponsor the 2nd Annual Jump Shot Your Future Event with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The 2nd Annual Jump Shot Your Future Event was held on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the 5e Gallery located at 460 Cass Avenue, Detroit Michigan. The Education Success Program is a program within MYOI that serves older youth ages 18-24 who were or are currently in foster care and assisting them in the areas of higher education. ESP also supports financial literacy and independent living skills by providing trainings around health, education, employment, housing, and community engagement.

The Purpose of the Annual Jump Shot Your Future Event is to increase resource and information for education access and success for high school and college students in foster care ages 14-25. This special event brought foster care youth from all over Metro-Detroit to participate in panel discussions with foster care alumni who delivered inspiring messages about the road to overcoming and having the desire to pursue a post-secondary education.

Youth participated in workshops with dynamic presenters delivering information on topics such as “Why College?,” “Where is the money,” “Do’s and Don’ts of College,” and “Distractions that can keep you from your educational goals.” Students were also able to meet with representatives from colleges and universities to discuss plans for a post-secondary education. This event equipped youth in foster care with the necessary resources, networking opportunities and helped cultivate a lasting support system that will give them a chance to transition successfully.

A special thank you to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their continued support in improving outcomes for Michigan youth aging out of foster care and giving them hope for a brighter future.