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Fostering Academics, Mentoring Excellence

The School's FAME Program was named one of 15 Exemplary Youth Programs after a national search by the Center for the Study of Social Policy for its YouthThrive™ Program.

FAME is a resource center for foster youth alumni attending MSU as well as for youth who were in kinship care, have experienced homelessness, or are otherwise independent. FAME exists to provide support and resources to these students during their time at MSU to help them be successful during their collegiate experience on MSU's campus and during their transition to becoming MSU alumni.

Hear Andrea Martineau, FAME program coordinator, and Sharonda Chaney, MSU junior and FAME student, interviewed on WKAR, MSU's public radio station, on January 14, 2015, in their "Neighbors In Action" feature.

MSU FAME (formerly Foster Youth Alumni Services) was organized in 2007 by Dr. Angelique Day, herself an alumna of the foster care system. The program was created for two main reasons: to increase the educational outcomes of young people who age out of foster care and to ensure that once they are an MSU student they receive the support they need so that they graduate.

Dr. John Seita is FAME Program Director, Andrea Martineau is program coordinator and lead life skills coach. In addition, there are three social work interns on the team and many university and community volunteers, agency professionals, and foster care alumni have contributed valuable time and resources to the program.

FAME is one of the School's Community Programs, all of which provide service, outreach, and teaching through field education placements, can serve as sites to develop best practices, and provide research opportunities to study program development and sustainability, among other topics.

Students in the spotlight:

MSU FAME student picking up supplies

Key resources include:

Coach Program

FAME is excited to be partnering with the State of Michigan Department of Human Services to provide a new support program to eligible former foster youth on Campus! The Coach Program provides students with a Life Skills Coach who will work with them for up to two years during their time as a college student. Life Skills Coaches meet with students at least monthly and work with students on developing and improving Independent Living Skills, navigating campus and university resources, and provide a support system to help them thrive as college students. Students in the coaching program are also matched with a mentor for additional support and guidance. To be eligible for the coaching program, students must be under 21 years old and must have been in foster care on or after their 14th birthday. For more information, contact Andrea Martineau.


Finals Week Survival Kits

This is an organized campus effort to provide former foster care youth with a survival kit to be delivered during final exam week. This is project is pretty-self sustaining, but money can be given to support baskets. In addition, many MSU Alumni clubs and MSU Extension also support this effort. For more information, email Andrea Martineau.


FAME student Brittany and her son collect her finals week survival kit.

See State News story>>

MSU Website

The University's website operates as an information and referral service for former foster youth currently enrolled at MSU. Housed at and maintained by the Office of Financial Aid, the website is a means of communicating to students who register on the website for services.

FAME Student Activity Board

FAME students share their experiences with community partners on a foster youth alumni panel at a local conference.

The FAME Student Activity Board (SAB) was initiated in 2012. Students plan events, give input to FAME programming, and use advocacy and outreach to increase campus and community awareness of the program. SAB also provides leadership and public speaking opportunities for students. For more information or to get involved, contact Andrea Martineau.

Campus Champions

Campus Champions are individuals in various campus departments who have agreed to be the contact person and advocate for FAME students. FAME Campus Champions ensure that FAME students get answers to their questions, enabling them to navigate campus better and access campus resources easier. FAME has Campus Champions in Financial Aid, Housing, Family Resource Center, Employment, Tutoring, and more!

Campus Champion Jennifer Shappell, MSU Financial Aid Advisor,

presenting MSU Financial Aid information to community members who are involved with foster youth at the Fostering Success Michigan Conference at MSU's Kellogg Center.

Campus Champions can be accessed from the FAME Student Services website or through a referral from FAME staff. To find contact information for a Campus Champion in a specific department, contact any of the FAME staff.

FAME Summer Camp

(from left) Camp counselor Garrett Moscow, camper Brian, camp counselor Erick Rodriguez, camper Joshua at FAME Summer Camp.

FAME is currently evaluating new models for engaging in outreach to foster youth in high school. Therefore, FAME Summer Camp is not being offered in 2015.

The original FAME Summer Camp was a rolling residential camp program (3 nights and 4 days in summer semester) held on the campus of Michigan State University for 30 foster youth from across the state. First held in 2008, the Camp aimed to prepare and support foster care youth who were considering attending institutions of higher education by increasing their knowledge and understanding about eligibility for financial support, student life, and studying at MSU. In addition to serving youth currently in foster care, the camp also employed current FAME students as camp counselors, providing a leadership and service-learning opportunity.

For information, email Andrea Martineau.


FAME Resources

You can download a pdf document listing MSU resources for FAME students HERE.

Please contact the FAME office with any questions.

Baker Hall
655 Auditorium Road Rooms 34 & 36

517-353-5537 or 517-353-0764

You can donate directly to the FAME program by visiting

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