B.C. government adds to education fund for youth from care

 BY TRACY SHERLOCK, VANCOUVER SUN

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Ten post-secondary schools in B.C. have now waived tuition feeds for former foster children, said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s representative for children and youth.
Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost , Vancouver Sun

 

 

The B.C. government is contributing $250,000 to a fund that helps youth from government care pay for post-secondary education.

The Youth Futures Education Fund pays for non-tuition expenses for former youth in care and was started last year with $200,000 from Coast Capital Savings.

Living expenses for a post-secondary student — including rent, utilities, food and transportation — are estimated at $10,000 for an eight-month school term. On top of that, there are student fees and books.

Ten post-secondary schools in B.C. have now waived tuition feeds for former foster children, said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s representative for children and youth.

"I call on all B.C. post-secondary schools to step forward. It is important to do all we can to help these youth to a brighter future," Turpel-Lafond said. "I encourage the private sector to step up and participate in this important initiative started by Coast Capital Savings."

An advisory council will administer the fund and determine eligibility criteria and application procedures.

The Vancouver Sun wrote a series of stories in 2014 that found that youth leaving care face many challenges when their support is cut off at 19. They face more homelessness, more dependency on welfare and poor educational outcomes. A cost-benefit analysis done by The Sun found that extending support beyond the age of 19 would save money in the long run.

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 http://www.vancouversun.com/government+adds+education+fund+youth+from+care/11118960/story.html

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