Fostering Laker Success

About Us

Our Mission

Fostering Laker Success strives to recruit and retain youth who have experienced foster care and other out-of-home placements by providing access to resources that encourage successful inclusion within and graduation from the GVSU community.

Our Program

Fostering Laker Success, works to provide a supportive network to program participants to ensure their success on and off campus. Laker participants will have access to key resources that can help them succeed academically, professionally and develop fundamental life skills. 

Unfortunately our 3rd Annual Spring Celebration on Thursday May 14th at 5p, at the Grand Valley's Alumni House is canceled. Stay safe. 

Program Goals:

90% of youth served have a mentor

95% of youth served are still enrolled in Grand Valley State University after services began

90% of youth served have access to a financial institution

100% of youth served are in a safe, appropriate, affordable housing

The Framework

Fostering Laker Success utilizes the Fostering Success Coach Modeling program (that has been successful used on 16 different campuses). We partner with students and provide them support in navigating college, Health Services, and preparation of post-graduation transition.  Using the Casey Family Programs Life Skills Assessment and It’s my life domains, each student will have develop and individuated personal plan to achieve their goal.


Our program started in September 2017. We have already impacted many of the students we work with. We will continue to post updates!

“My favorite this about FLS is meeting students I can relate too.” – FLS Participant

“My favorite thing about FLS is the sense of community” – FLS Participant

Our Coach

Jessica R Campbell (JC), LMSW


We serve students who have experienced foster care. Through campus collaboration, we provide a supportive network to ensure their success on and off campus. Together, we work to help students achieve their academic and personal goals.

Fostering Laker Success Program Information

To be eligible for Fostering Laker Success, you must be accepted to Grand Valley State University. Have experienced foster care after the age of 14 and are younger than 23. And agree to actively participant in program activities.

For additional questions please contact Jessica R Campbell (JC), LMSW, Independent Living Skills Coach for Fostering Laker Success; or 616-331-2748.

Grand Valley Admissions

Fostering Laker Success Participant Application - Apply For Program

·       Meet with coach 1x a week

·       Attend 1 FLS event per month

·       Meet with mentor 4x per month

Program Application

Meet one on one with foster youth enrolled in program 4x a month minimum

Complete 8 hours of specialized training

Touch base with Independent Living Skills Coach on a monthly

Be willing to submit to background check

Sign confidentiality agreement

Complete interaction reports

        Interested applications can contact the Program Coordinator JC, 

Alison McManus Walters ’73 Fostering Success Scholarship provides financial assistance to foster youth and ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth while pursuing a degree at GVSU.

The Donald J. DeYoung Scholarship fund is designed to assist young people who have had contact with the Family Division of the Circuit Court and are interested in pursuing college or vocational education. Students may attend the educational institution of their choice.

The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) is an annual federal grant provided to states to fund youth who have aged out of the foster care system and who are enrolled in college, university and vocational training programs. Students may receive up to $5,000 a year based on their cost of attendance.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship (FFS) provides eligible youth who have experienced foster care with scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room/board, books, and supplies/equipment required for enrollment.

Foster Care to Success (FC2S) partners with organizations, foundations, and individuals to deliver scholarships to foster youth across the country. With this funding and our support, hundreds of young people reach their educational goals every year.

Fostering Success Michigan (FSM) is building a statewide network through a collective-impact strategy that strives to prepare young people in foster care between the ages of 12 to 25 across the state of Michigan for success in higher education and beyond. Their website organizes resources based on life domains, educational stage, or your current role.

Foster Youth in Transition (FYIT) funds are available to cover expenses not covered by other government or community resources, or to augment or supplement services from other funding sources.

Gay/Lesbian Adoptive/Foster Parent Scholarship Win a $750 scholarship–$500 towards your tuition and $250 towards living expenses.
We’ll also give a $250 donation to an adoption or foster-related non-profit organization.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation Scholarships, has been a major scholarship provider in Kent County, awarding more than $1 million every year to hundreds of students pursuing a higher education.

Grand Valley State University Scholarships

Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative’s (MYOI) goal is to ensure that young people in foster care have successful outcomes in housing, education, employment, community engagement and health. MYOI provides youth boards, community partner boards, training, financial matches, and stipends.

MiSSG Student Portal For students to have access to the MiSSG Student Portal, they must have a current-year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file (typically received 3-4 days after submission) or have a Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) record.  First time student users must have their Social Security number when signing up to create a username and password.

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) will award a minimum of four (4) $2,000 scholarships for the year. The unrestricted funds will be awarded once proof of post secondary education as been provided.

The National Foster Parent Association offers scholarships to NFPA members whose birth, foster and US adopted youth wish to further their education beyond high school, including college or university studies, vocational/technical school or junior college.  

Replenish, provides food and personal care items to meet the short-term challenges that students may face when unable to purchase such items. Replenish is located in Kirkhoff 0074.

The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) is an incentive program that encourages eligible students to complete high school by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond.

 UMPS CARE Charities All-Star College Scholarship is for children adopted later in life in order to provide a college education to students who otherwise might not be able to afford one. 

Fostering Laker Success Seven Life Domains

Fostering Laker Success coaching is guided by 7 Life Domains, listed below and pictured to the left. 

  • Basic Needs
  • Finances and Employment
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Cultural and Personal Identify 
  • GV Community Experiences and Supportive Relationships 
  • Life Skills and Destination Planning
  • Education

Fostering Laker Success Life Domains

New program to help support foster youth

Fostering Laker Success has launched, as a result of the award granted by the Dept. Health and Human Services.

View Grant Information

Learn about the statewide effort to help with college for those with foster experience -


Donate or Request A Meal

The Laker Meal Share Program helps support students in times of hardship by providing meals to meet immediate needs. Campus Dinning and the Dean of Students Office have teamed up to help create the Laker Meal Share Program. This program allows GVSU meal plan users to contribute guest meal swipes from their meal plan each semester. Contributed meals go into a pool that can be used to provide access to Campus Dinning for students who might otherwise go hungry.

Meal swipes from meal plans are contributed by the campus community and given out on an as-needed basis. Contributions and requests are accepted during fall and winter semester. For the Winter 2020 semester requests can be placed up until Friday April 17th at 4pm by using the form below.

Donate a Meal

If you have a meal plan, you can donate meal swipes to support students with immediate food needs. Campus Dining Street Team will host tables in various dining locations the week of February 17 where students can sign up to donate. 

Request a Meal

If you are in immediate need of a meal and don’t have an active meal plan, you are welcome to submit a request for meals starting February 25th, up until April 17, 2020. Upon completion of your request, someone from the Laker Meal Share program will review your request and may authorize a certain number of meals to your Student ID Card for use at Fresh Food Company. Approval and assignment is based upon need and availability of donated meals. Please note: Only currently-enrolled students are eligible for the Laker Meal Share program.

Submit a Meal Request

Fostering Laker Success - Mentoring Program

Becoming a mentor to program participants is a great way to get involved with Fostering Laker Success. Mentoring is a proven to produce positive outcomes for both mentors and mentee. As a mentor you will serve as a campus connector, helping students navigate campus, access certain resources, but most importantly you will serve as supportive adult on Grand Valley’s Campus.

“The weekly meet-ups I had with …my mentor was super helpful. I am grateful for the academic support and pushing me to become more outside of school!” - FLS participant

Each mentor will be given a mentor profile sheet to complete during training, which will be composed by FLS students. Prior to becoming a mentor, you will receive specialized training that will help you better understand working with youth who have experienced foster care. The state of Michigan also has some wonderful resources for mentors who work with youth that have experienced foster care.

End Year Event - Fls


View on Facebook

Photo from FLS End Year Event


Fostering Laker Success is a federal grant funded program. It’s sustainability will come from the Grand Valley State University support, grants, and individual donations. See the impact: Avion Silas

Please consider supporting our program through making a tax deductible donation online Fostering Laker Success Fund, by phone 616.331.6000 or send a check payable to Grand Valley Laker Effect Fund. In the memo line enter Fostering Laker Success and mail to:

University Development

Grand Valley State University

     LV Eberhard Center 9th Floor

     301 Fulton St W

     PO Box 2005

     Grand Rapids, MI  49501-2005

And if you are interested in planned giving, please contact University Development 616.331.6000.

Fostering Laker Success also accepts gifts cards and school supplies for students welcome baskets. Please contact Jessica R. Campbell (JC), Program Coordinator for further information; or 616-331-2748.

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