Martisha always dreamed of attending college, but in the summer of 2015 her dream seemed impossible when she once again became part of the State of Michigan Foster Care system.

“I lost my dad at an early age and my mom and I were close for a while after that. But alcohol and anger took over my mom’s life and forced my sister and me to grow up fast. We used to take shifts sleeping at night. One of us would stand guard in case my mom tried to enter our room in a rage. It was difficult but I realized my mom didn’t want to get better, and I had to move on from her in order to get on with my own life.

My dream of going to college started to seem more possible once I joined the Young Adult Self Sufficiency (YASS) program at The Children’s Center. YASS helped me realize that I am not the only youth going through this. We were all trying to graduate high school and get into college, and we supported each other through that.

I loved the life skills classes through YASS. Bank employees and mortgage lenders would come in to talk about how to save money and apply for a mortgage. My YASS worker helped me navigate the college application, scholarship and financial aid processes. It’s not that I can’t do these things on my own, but with The Children’s Center, I can figure them out confidently.

Now, thanks to my YASS support system, I am attending Michigan State University this fall. I even earned a scholarship from The Children’s Center to help fund my education and re-start my life on the right track. I am so excited.

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