Wayne State University

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TIP gives foster youth summer work experience

August 14, 2014

TIP gives foster youth summer work experience

For the second consecutive summer, WSU’s Transition to Independence Program has found on-campus jobs for youth in the Michigan foster care system, helping them obtain vital work experience as well as a motivational taste of university life. TIP, a program of the School of Social Work that provides critical financial, social and academic support for Wayne State students aging out of foster care, has placed 16 youth ages 16 to 21 in administrative, recreational and research-related jobs at the College of Education, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, the School of Social Work, and the Matthaei Physical Education Center. Angelique Day, assistant social work professor and TIP director, described the summer work program as a “win-win” for the university, which gets hundreds of hours of no-cost assistance, and for the foster youth, who are paid by Detroit Employment Solutions and Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative and gain workplace skills and resume-building material. A strength of the program is that it helps foster youth see themselves as “college material,” said Day. “We can increase college access rates for these kids if we help them overcome their fear of applying and feel worthy of being on a campus,” she said. “We’re particularly delighted that the majority of summer employees are African American males, which is a population with a low college graduation rate in general and which faces a particularly pervasive problem among foster youth.”

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