Image courtesy Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Blake Deal
The Navigator

Coast Capital Savings has created funding for youth who were formerly in provincial care to assist them in receiving post-secondary education.

The $200k fund was created to cover more than just the cost of tuition, as there are multiple financial barriers keeping these youth from obtaining a post-secondary education. 

“Coast Capital’s community promise is to help build a richer future for youth in our community, and that’s what we’re aiming to do through this new fund,” said President and Chief Executive OfficerTracy Redies. “We need to work together to help improve post-secondary­ participation for youth formerly in care. Young people deserve an opportunity to better their future, and investing in these youth is good for them, our communities, and our future as a province. The government can’t take this issue on alone, which is why Coast Capital is stepping up to initiate this fund and to ask other BC-based organizations to do the same. This is an issue that we can all help improve through action.”

Last year, BC Representive for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond challenged BC post-secondary schools to waive tuition fees for children formerly in provincial care. The Coast Capital fund is a step in making post-secondary education more accessible to these youth.

The current estimate for the cost of an eight month school year is approximately $10,000 not including school fees or books.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development already have some funds in place, and this fund will supplement what is already in place.

In 2002, the Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF) was created to help people aged 19-24 who were in permanent ministry care or an Aboriginal agency before becoming an adult.

Eligible students can get up to $5,500 a year for up to four years.

Since the creation of the YEAF, over $10.3 million has been contributed, helping 1,350 people receive a post-secondary education.

The ministry’s Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program has helped 1,700 young adults attend post-secondary schools, receive life and job skills, or complete rehabilitation programs.

“This new fund initiated by Coast Capital builds on existing post-secondary programs that government offers former children and youth in care—programs like AYA and the YEAF—to help them follow their dreams and achieve their best as they transition to adulthood,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux.

“We fully support Coast Capital’s efforts in starting this new fund, and we look forward to working with them to continue to provide supports and services to help youth in care build a stronger future for themselves.”

The details of Coast Capitals contribution is still being finalized but should be available to those eliglible in fall 2014.