Storwell Bursary Program Provides Financial Assistance for Current and Former Youth in Care and Young Adults on Extension of Services
Right now, there are approximately 60,000 Canadian children living in permanent care with foster families, kinship care, places of safety, or in group homes. Many of these children and youth in care face extraordinary challenges in their lives, which can contribute to negative academic outcomes. Approximately 44% of Ontario wards complete high school compared to an overall average of 81%. Of those who do complete high school, only a very small percentage will go on to receive a bachelor’s degree. Adults with a bachelor’s degree earn an average one million dollars more over the course of their careers as their peers with a high school diploma alone.
While many young people are able to rely on their parents for assistance well into their 20s, children and youth in care are expected to be completely independent by the age of 21. A large number of children and youth in care desire to attend post-secondary education and/or trades training, but the financial burden of advanced education is often a hurdle that is too great to overcome. Statistics Canada reports that the average cost of a four-year university degree starting in 2022 is $96,004 for students in residence, or $48,074 for students living at home. For youth that have grown up in the foster care system, the likelihood of receiving or having additional educational financial supports is lower than average.
Indigenous children are significantly over-represented in the Canadian foster care system. Statistics Canada released data from the 2021 census that says Indigenous children made up 53.8% of all children in foster care. This is an extremely unsettling figure given the fact that only 5% of Canada’s total population identifies as Indigenous. In 2018, there was a formal review of Manitoba’s child welfare legislation, which reported that Manitoba had the highest rate of children in care among Canadian provinces. Figures indicated that there were over 11,000 children in care in Manitoba with almost 90% of those being Indigenous children.
In response to the struggles that children and youth in care experience gaining access to post-secondary education, Storwell Self Storage has created the Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program. This $2,000 annual bursary is an attempt to provide children and youth in care with opportunities and resources that might otherwise be unavailable to them. Storwell has been providing affordable self-storage solutions for over two decades and is always looking to give back to the community by supporting social initiatives that provide assistance to groups of people who go overlooked, like children and youth in care. Despite the staggering number of children and youth in care in Canada, there are very few external scholarships and bursaries geared towards this very vulnerable demographic. We encourage children and youth in care pursuing post-secondary and/or trade training endeavours to apply for this bursary.
Full eligibility requirements and access to the bursary application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application
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 “25 is the new 21: The Costs and Benefits of Providing Extended Care & Maintenance to Ontario Youth in Care Until Age 25.” The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth, 2012, pp. 17, https://openpolicyontario.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2012/02/25istheNew21.pdf
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 “Transforming Child Welfare Legislation in Manitoba: Opportunities to Improve Outcomes for Children and Youth.” Report of the Legislative Review Committee, Sept. 2018, pp. 4, https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/child_welfare_reform/pubs/final_report.pdf