Buying books, groceries and paying bills for expenses, such as rent and child care, can be made easier for students with access to $250,000 in provincial government funding through the Youth Futures Education Fund at the Vancouver Foundation.
The announcement was made at an event with Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training; Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development; Andrew Petter, president, Simon Fraser University (SFU); and Mallory Wood, Vancouver Island University youth representative.
The Youth Futures Education Fund has been in place since 2015 and has helped over 600 students.
In September 2017, Premier John Horgan announced the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program for students who are former youth in care at all 25 public post-secondary institutions and the Native Education College. In July 2018, the program was expanded to foundation and apprenticeship training programs at 10 union-based training providers. Previously, there was no provincial standard.
More than 806 former youth in care have benefited from the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program compared to 189 youth in 2016-17 under the initial voluntary program - an increase of 326%.
Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development
"Thank you to the provincial government and to the businesses, philanthropic organizations and individual donors who have helped build the Youth Futures Education Fund. We look forward to continuing to grow the fund to support these young people with basic living expenses, so they can focus on pursuing their dream of an education. By working together, we can all be part of a solution that gives former youth in care the opportunity to succeed and empowers them to fully contribute to their communities."
Andrew Petter, president and vice-chancellor, SFU
͞"The Youth Futures Education Fund is wonderful news for young people who previously might not have imagined that they could participate in post-secondary education. In the last two years, 25 former youth in care have enrolled at SFU, and we look forward to those numbers continuing to rise. We're proud to provide these and other students an engaging learning environment that enables them to gain knowledge, skills and experiences with lifelong value."
"As a former youth in care, the Youth Futures Education Fund has allowed me to prioritize my learning during my post-secondary journey. I'm very grateful for this support as it, along with UBC's Post Care Tuition Waiver Program, has lifted the burden of financial stress and allowed me to focus on building a solid foundation for my future."
- Over the past four years, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has committed $750,000 to the Youth Futures Education Fund, including the $250,000 in this announcement and the Ministry of Children and Family Development's one-time investment of $250,000. In total, the government has provided $1 million.
- The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program covers a wide range of studies. There is no income test to be eligible, no minimum course duration, course load or maximum tuition fee coverage.
Provincial Tuition Waiver Program: https://gov.bc.ca/tuitionwaiver
Vancouver Foundation: https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/youthfutures
Youth Futures Education Fund: https://youthfutures.ca/
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training