Eastern Michigan University expands MAGIC program to empower foster youth throughout their college journey

MAGIC students outside on a sunny day with a dog.

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University is expanding its Mentorship, Access, and Guidance in College (MAGIC) program, a vital support system for students who have experienced foster care. The program provides holistic support, including mentorship, access to resources, and guidance, to help students overcome barriers and reach graduation.

"The MAGIC program is a very important resource for foster youth navigating college," said Raven Wood, program director for MAGIC. "We provide students with access to proven resources to help them succeed academically and personally."

As an independent living skills coordinator and success coach, Wood is working to expand MAGIC resources to ensure students are linked to academic resources such as EMU’s Holman Success Center while also facilitating the expansion of connections to off-campus resources like healthcare providers and additional scholarship opportunities. The program also emphasizes community engagement, forging partnerships with local organizations to provide students with a robust support network.

The MAGIC program, supported by government grants, is open to any student who experienced foster care from age 14 onwards. While historically enrolling around 10-15 students annually, Wood and the MAGIC team are dedicated to expanding outreach efforts to increase enrollment and ensure all eligible students benefit from the program's support.

"The upcoming events, including registration blitz and our end-of-semester celebration, show our commitment to creating a supportive environment for our students," said Wood. "We're excited to take students to events like Best in Games and continue our collaborations with organizations like Reach and Youth Arts Alliance."

Eastern's outreach programs also play a crucial role in encouraging foster youth to pursue higher education. With events starting in April and partnerships with local nonprofits, EMU aims to provide financial support and scholarships to foster youth through state grants and external organizations.

"Our role as advocates and case managers is to support our students and help them navigate outreach programs provided by EMU," said Wood. "We're dedicated to removing financial or emotional barriers to ensure our students have the opportunity to succeed."

As the program grows, students express gratitude for the support they have received from advocates, case managers, and others involved.

"The MAGIC program has done so much to help students who have experienced foster care,” said Mya Snyder, a senior public relations student at EMU. “Since joining the program, I've received funding for books, assistance with scholarship opportunities, snacks and necessities, thoughtful holiday gifts, and unconditional support and guidance. I'll forever be grateful for everything MAGIC has done to support me in my personal and academic journey."

For more information about the MAGIC program and how to support foster youth at Eastern Michigan University, visit the website.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today

March 13, 2024

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley