Monday, December 22, 2014

UAA students in foster youth program will get a special visit from holiday elves

Kelsie Sullivan (center) and staff from the Office of Grants & Contracts (l to r) Terry De Mesa, Sylvia Luff, Ricardo Reid,
and Mark Riley, are shown with some of the gifts that will be wrapped and  delivered to UAA foster youth students.
Holiday elves will be paying a special visit to 29 UAA students who are in the foster youth program or just transitioning out of the state foster program.  Under the auspices of the statewide UA Education and Training Voucher Program for Foster Youth (ETV), holiday gifts have been collected and wrapped for distribution to the students.

The holiday gifts for foster youth project was started by Kelsie Sullivan in the UAA Office of Grants & Contracts, and Kelsie works with Amanda Metivier, Youth Education Coordinator of the UA foster youth program, to get a list of students and their holiday wish lists.  Individuals from UAA departments participate by getting the wish lists, buying the gifts, and delivering them to Kelsie for wrapping and distribution.

Kelsie wanted a way to give back to the UAA community and thought of the foster youth program at UAA.  She is very appreciative of all the support she gets from the Office of Grants & Contracts in making the holidays special for these students. If you would like to participate next year, contact Kelsie at

Amanda Metivier
The Education Training and Voucher Program for Foster Youth began 3 years ago and is managed by Amanda Metivier, Youth Education Coordinator, on the Anchorage campus. Her office works with the Office of Children's Services, and Amanda starts talking with foster youth who are juniors and seniors in high school to help them transition to college. Amanda was in foster care herself and earned her BSW and MSW at UAA. She says, "It's pretty cool - I get to help these youth. I know what they are experiencing and are going through."

This year there are 50 foster youth statewide in the UA system, but over half are on the UAA campus.  State funds are directed through Amanda's office to the UA students to help pay for housing, books, food, transportation, and other necessities. Click here to learn more about the UA foster youth program. Or contact Amanda at

The Justice Center applauds this holiday project and the work of the  Education and Training  Voucher Program for Foster Youth. Thanks for making the holiday season a little brighter for our students!