Graduating from college coming through the foster care system

Neighborhood Journalist Lyric Mention interviews Liz Burns about what it takes to graduate from college coming from the foster care system. 

Former Western Michigan University Setia Scholar Liz Burns, 24, has managed to deal with mental health issues and overcome the statistics placed on foster youth who attend a four-year university.


A 2018 study by Sean Hogan in the ‘Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition’ found that foster youth students with greater mental health problems demonstrated significantly poorer academic performance during their first year at a four-year university. Now an alumna, Burns continues many of the habits she used to finish her studies and overcome the stigmas around foster youth.


In her interview, Burns talks about the Sieta Scholars Program. Sieta Scholars at Western Michigan University is geared towards creating and developing a community of scholars who’ve aged out of foster care. Their focus is to create a safe community, support and educate their students to enhance professional skill sets, and transform their students’ past to build opportunities for their future.


Interview with Liz Burns, conducted by Neighborhood Journalist Lyric Mention on 11/17