Monday, June 11 is our annual invitation-only Graduation event – the night we celebrate the educational achievement of youth in our foster care system. Just under 30 youth graduating from Grade 8, Grade 12 and post-secondary will be honoured. We will also be awarding $50,000 in bursaries to those youth going to college and university. All our bursary funds come from donations from people just like you.
To mark the occasion we will be joined by The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario’s 29th Lieutenant Governor. Her Honour will be meeting prior to the event with a group of youth in foster care to discuss the role of education in their lives. During the event she will be giving the keynote speech. It is a rare honour and one of great significance to the youth we serve.
Most people know the challenges these youth face. Education is one of them. But it is also the solution. Youth in care of a Children’s Aid Society like ours have a much higher chance of academic difficulties in high school and much lower graduation rates than their peers. We feel strongly that education is the key to their future. It is a powerful force for good that can transform lives and bring hope to where there was none. Education is the best investment our community can make for these youth. It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up. And they need our support.
According to a survey we ran on youth receiving bursaries for college and university more than 80 percent said that even with government assistance, paying for college and university would be a challenge. Half said that when they were in high school they never dreamed they’d be able to go to post-secondary. More than half said Education is the key to my future. And all of them said that the bursaries our Agency provides made them feel like someone cares about their success.
Our bursary program – called the Futures Fund – is so important. That’s why we’re holding our first Report on Education just before our Graduation event. Join us LIVE on Facebook at 5:00PM June 11th to hear the latest news on the Futures Fund and to hear some real stories of real bursary awards. Ask a question or make a comment.
Our thanks to Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor for coming to our Graduation event. Thanks also to all the workers, foster parents, volunteers and teachers who helped make it possible. And thanks to the youth themselves for their hard work and perseverance.