Greater Toronto Area youth one step closer to achieving educational aspirations

TORONTO—On Wednesday, August 27, 2008, 84 Greater Toronto Area youth will be one step closer to achieving their educational aspirations by receiving scholarships valued at more than $180,000 from the Hope for Children Foundation.

“Education is vital in creating a future for these youth that does not include poverty and underemployment,” said Mary Bowyer, Executive Director, Hope for Children Foundation. “It is nearly impossible for youth in care to pursue a post-secondary education without emotional and financial support,” added Ms. Bowyer.

Former Crown Ward Eric Crawford knows first-hand the financial challenges faced by youth in care. He says these challenges have helped him realize exactly what he wants out of life and have motivated him to work hard. “I knew at age 14 that I wanted to get a good education, and that it would be very expensive. That is when I decided to get my first job as a Lacrosse referee.” Eric has two summer jobs and juggles part-time work and studying throughout the academic year. With the help of the Hope for Children Scholarship Foundation, Eric has earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and is now pursuing his teaching certificate at the University of Western Ontario.

“It is really inspiring to see all the other youth getting scholarships. I want to inspire others in the community to support the program,” said Eric. “I want to show other kids it doesn’t matter where you come from. Anything is possible if you are determined to fulfill your dreams.”

Chavenne Stamp is the first person in her family to ever pursue a post-secondary education —made possible with the support of the Hope for Children Foundation. She is currently enrolled in the Police Foundations program at Humber College. This ambitious mother of two hopes to eventually pursue a degree in Social Work at York University and learn sign language. “Getting a good education will allow me to provide my children with a bright future.”

Since 1986, the Hope for Children Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships and special achievement grants. Recipients of the Scholarship Program have achieved a 90% graduation rate.

The Hope for Children Foundation supports independent living programs for adolescents, post-secondary scholarships, emergency and assistance grants, education planning and advocacy, and community support programs for families.

The Hope for Children Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Event will be held on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the Great Hall, Hart House, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto.

Contact for more information, or to request an interview with scholarship recipients please contact:

Contact: Anne Rappé
Manager, Communications
Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Tel. 416-395-1506
Email: a.rappe@torontoccas.org