Scholarships Offer Smart Solutions to Poverty and Underemployment

Struggling Toronto Youth Beat Odds Through Education

Toronto—On Wednesday, August 30, seventy-one Greater Toronto Area youth will get the opportunity of a lifetime and a brighter future by receiving scholarships valued at more than $230,000 from the Hope for Children Foundation.

The Hope for Children Foundation Scholarship Program offers financial support to youth who were formerly in the care of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, and who have been accepted into a college, university or training course.

“Twenty years ago, it would have been rare for these kids to have attended post-secondary education. We know that education is key to liberating these youth from urban poverty or underemployment,” said Mary L. Bowyer, Executive Director, Hope for Children Foundation. “Paying for college or university is an impossibility for many youth in care who lack the financial and emotional support of their parents,” added Ms. Bowyer.

After volunteering on a project to build a windmill for a small, impoverished town in Tanzania, Africa, former Crown Ward Anita Hayford returned to Canada with a burning desire to pursue developmental studies. Her only obstacle was the cost of attending university. “The scholarship I received from the Hope for Children Foundation is the primary reason I have been able to continue my education.” Anita is now entering her fourth year of Developmental and Globalization Studies at Trent University. She plans to work with new immigrants who struggle with poverty in Canada.

Magda is entering her second year of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. “My mom doesn’t support me financially at all, and I have lived in a foster home from the time I was in Grade 9. It was up to me to find the money to pay for university. I had a job, but it didn’t pay very well. When I heard that I had received a scholarship from the Hope for Children Foundation, it was like an opening to the future. With the $5,000 I received, and the money I saved from my summer job, I was able to pay for my first year of university. It’s such an exciting time!”

Since 1986, the Hope for Children Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and special achievement grants. Recipients of the Scholarship Program have achieved a 90% graduation rate.

The Hope for Children Foundation sponsors and supports essential services that are not funded by government, including independent living programs for adolescents, post-secondary scholarships, emergency and enhancement grants, education planning and advocacy, and community support programs for families.

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