A student’s life circumstances leading up to college greatly impacts the way that student will perform as a college student. Experiences with homelessness and foster care, according to MAGIC, decreases a student’s chance of graduating with a bachelor’s degree.
Students at Eastern Michigan University who have experienced homeless or foster care, however, have support through the Mentorship Access Guidance in College program. MAGIC is a division of the Academic Success Partnerships office and is located in 301 Pierce Hall. The program currently serves about 30 students.
“Students who use this service, also receive resources needed to develop independent living skills applicable to campus and community life, in the forms of workshops and other developmental programs,” Le’Shay Dandridge-Webb, the head independent living skills coordinator at the Academic Success Partnership, says. “MAGIC is all about providing opportunities for those who may not have them otherwise due to uncontrollable circumstances.”
According to Maddy Day, the director of outreach and training at the Center for Fostering Success, the program provides students with high quality coaching and mentoring.
“Since their inception, the EMU MAGIC program has partnered with students, creating student leaders who inspire others as they transform their lives and pave the way for brighter futures for all students who experience foster care and homelessness,” Day writes.
The office provides students with 24/7 individualized coaching support. It also helps students with scholarships, financial aid, personal life skills, and employment in addition to basic needs like housing and food. Simply put, the office provides aid in just about every aspect of life. The program gives students agency as they are in control of their level of involvement.
John Emerson from the Casey Family Programs writes that one of the hallmarks of the program is the caring relationships between students and staff.
“Too many capable young adults from foster care enroll in higher education only to feel lost and alone,” he writes. “MAGIC welcomes students to a safe and supportive environment where important relationships develop. It provides a supportive community where dreams of college success can and do become a reality.”
Dandridge-Webb says the program is focused on students adjusting happily to campus.
“We welcome students to come and talk to us as we are working hard to assist students in breaking the cycle of neglect, poverty and all manners of abuse,” she Dandridge-Webb says. “MAGIC is staffed with licensed professional therapists, who uphold confidentiality and are always open to giving students the reassurance that they need to feel comfortable on campus.”
If you are interested in becoming a member of the MAGIC community, you can fill out this form, call them at (734)487-8413, or visit their office at 301 Pierce Hall. Have some of your questions answered here.