Seita Scholars program update next up in breakfast speaker series

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Chris Harris.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's nationally lauded Seita Scholars Program, part of the WMU Center for Fostering Success, will be in the spotlight at the next Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series event.

Chris Harris, director of the program, will discuss "Fostering Success through the WMU Seita Scholars Program" at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30, in 2150 Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business.

The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at Free parking is available.

About the program

Launched in 2008, the Seita Scholars Program offers comprehensive support for students who have aged out of foster care. The program supports up to 160 students annually and includes benefits such as tuition scholarships, 24-hour support from program staff, leadership opportunities, career mentors and other mechanisms built to support the underrepresented student population.

In spring of 2014 the Seita Scholars Program was recognized by the Center for the Study of Social Policy's Youth Thrive Exemplary Program, which identified the top 15 initiatives across the country making a critical difference in the lives of foster care youth or those involved with child welfare systems.

The program has more than 40 graduates with graduation rates far exceeding the national average for youth from the foster care system. These graduates and current students demonstrate a commitment to their campus, community and academic performance, making the deans list, studying abroad, participating in club and varsity sports, holding leadership positions in student organizations, speaking at conferences and advocating for youth in foster care.

The Seita Scholarship pays for the tuition of undergraduate courses at WMU. Students may also apply for financial aid, making it possible for Seita Scholars to earn an undergraduate degree with few or no student loans.

Other upcoming dates and speakers

Feb. 27: Jeana Koerber, clinical director, Residential Opportunities Inc., Kalamazoo.

March 27: Dr. Ed Mayo, WMU professor emeritus of marketing, and John Weitzel, master faculty specialist of marketing, "Branding and the Baseball Fan Experience."

The Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.

For more information or to register, contact the Haworth College of Business at (269) 387-6059 or at