Scholarships Open Door to Success for Toronto Youth

TORONTO—On Thursday, August 30, 82 Greater Toronto Area youth will get the jump on a brighter future through receiving scholarships valued at more than $150,000 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.

“We know that education is key to liberating these youth from urban poverty or underemployment,” said Mary 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.

Former Crown ward, Lucy Anacleto says she always dreamt of attending university, “Once I turned 10 years old I went around telling everyone, ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a doctor!” But after coming into care as a result of abuse in the home, the possibility of achieving her dream started to fade. “I began to feel isolated and hopeless about my future. I feared that I couldn’t achieve my dream of attending university because I simply would not be able to afford it,” said Lucy. She dropped out of high school before reaching a turning point in her life.

Her caseworker, Anita Strauss, encouraged her to return to high school so that she could apply for university and a Hope for Children Foundation scholarship. “Lucy has the focus and capacity to be successful at anything she sets her mind to,” said Ms. Strauss. “She is a wonderful, articulate young lady who is wise beyond her years.” This fall, Lucy is entering her third year of Women Studies at Concordia University. She is considering a career in law or journalism, and eventually plans to go into politics. “I guess you could say that I lost my dream temporarily, but I regained it thanks to the support of the Foundation.”

Lucas Lawrence struggled through school with a learning disability. He never thought university was a possibility, but after a year of working in the construction industry he was able to return to school with the help of the Hope for Children Foundation. “The Foundation scholarship helped cover the cost of tuition and made my transition back to school easier,” said Lucas. Last year, he successfully completed the Academic Bridging program at the University of Toronto with above-average marks. This fall, Lucas, who is an active volunteer with Toronto’s Out of the Cold / Heat program, will return to the University of Toronto to begin a four-year degree in Architectural studies.

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 supports prevention programs, 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