Youth Education Bursary: Supporting youth in care

As many of you know, The Federation’s Youth Education Bursary was an initiative that was actually established by Federation members. But you may not know that its creation was inspired by two different, but related intentions.

The first (rather obvious) goal was to support young people in care—in particular, to offer them a “yes” in what is too often a lifetime of hearing “no” over and over. Kids in care don’t get to experience many of the things other kids do and our members wanted to make sure post-secondary education wasn’t one of those things.

The other (less obvious) goal was to welcome a new generation of caregivers and practitioners into our sector with support and with love—to see their potential and to help them reach it. Our sector had (and still has) a tough time recruiting people into this work. The bursary was an intentional effort to create a new pathway into our field for those who fully understand the issues we’re all facing.

We hear time and time again about the challenges members face trying to recruit staff at all levels of your organizations. We heard it during last week’s FED Talk among members, we heard it at our recent Social Policy Forum, and we hear during our regional meetings.

This is hard work. It requires a big heart, a deep commitment, and a strength that not all people have. You all understand that in the very same way that you understand the true potential of young people who possess that strength and heart—the young people who will be our future colleagues, our future leaders.

Application Information—please share!

Bursary application forms (and a link to other resources for young people) are available on our website. The deadline to apply is May 4, 2018. Please share this information with young people in your life and others who help support BC’s youth in care.

Our bursary committee members are continuously looking at ways to make the application process easier and more accessible. But perhaps the best way to make the application less scary for a young person is to have a kind, caring adult work on it with them. So please offer your help to anyone completing the application.

Thank you

At the Social Policy Forum, we raised almost $800 towards the Youth Education Bursary fund in less than a day! I want to thank you all for your generosity and for your ongoing commitment to this initiative. We know that there has been some excellent progress with BC’s tuition waiver programs over the last year. But we also know that eligibility criteria for tuition waivers will only help some of BC’s former youth in care.

That’s why the bursary continues to be important and why we will continue to support those young people who want to join our committed, caring, and hardworking sector. And I want to sincerely thank all of our members for their ongoing support of this important and meaningful program—thank you!

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director