VICTORIA - The Ministry of Children and Family Development has added $1.4 million to a bursary fund that helps B.C. youth formerly in government care pursue educational and vocational studies.
The money will help fuel B.C.'s Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF), which is available to young people between the ages of 19 and 24 who were in the permanent care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a delegated Aboriginal agency before they reached adulthood.
Eligible students can receive bursaries of up to $5,500 for tuition, books, fees or living expenses while studying at designated post- secondary and vocational institutions.
Since the creation of the YEAF fund in 2002, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has contributed more than $10.3 million to the program.
As a result of bursaries awarded in the last school year, more than 270 students were able to pursue their post-secondary and vocational goals. To date, the bursaries have helped more than 1,350 youth formerly in permanent care.
The YEAF program is administered in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Victoria Foundation.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -
"We want to ensure vulnerable children have opportunities to choose their own path to independence and successful adulthood. The Youth Education Assistance Fund gives young people in permanent care an incentive to stay in school, knowing support is available should they wish to pursue post-secondary or vocational training once they transition out of care."
Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education -
"Post-secondary education opens doors of opportunity for students and their families. This fund is making a difference in the lives of young people formerly in government care, giving them the chance to experience the joys of learning and gain knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime."
Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation -
"The Victoria Foundation is pleased to partner with government on this program that we believe helps build capacity within our communities. This funding supports this vulnerable youth population in developing the skills they need to get ahead, and ensures they maintain a high quality of life while doing so."
* Bursaries are available to B.C. youth formerly in permanent care who are enrolled in a post-secondary program that is at least 12 weeks long and leads to a diploma, certificate or degree.
* Students must be studying full time, or with a reduced course load for students with a permanent disability.
* Eligible students can receive a bursary once each educational year and up to a maximum of four times.
* The awards do not have to be repaid.
* Applications are accepted at any time during the year.
YEAF program: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/yeaf/index.htm
Apply for a bursary: https://studentaidbc.ca/sites/all/files/form-library/yeaf_application.pdf
For more information on the Victoria Foundation, call 250 381-5532 or visit the website at: www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca