Storwell Bursary for Foster Children
Storwell is Offering a $2,000 Bursary to Help Foster Children Pursue Their Post-Secondary Education
Storwell offers an annual bursary of $2,000 to help foster children attend post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life. Along with providing secure and affordable self storage units, Storwell is also devoted to helping out the community through various charitable causes and social initiatives. For over a decade, Storwell has been running a bursary program for students who were part of the foster care system to help them attend post secondary school.
A study done in 2017 by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth found that over the last four decades, poor academic outcomes have been characteristic of former youth in care from Canada, the United States, and Britain. Youth in care struggle to complete high school with 56% of Ontario Crown Wards dropping out of high school.
The lack of focus on education can be attributed to several factors. A major factor that contributes to poor educational performance is a lack of stability at home. Every time a youth moves, they lose four to six months of academic progress and then struggle to make up the loss over time. The vast majority of former foster youth wish to attend university, yet fewer qualified former foster youth pursue post- secondary education compared to their peers. When university or post-secondary education is pursued, significantly fewer former foster youth finish their studies compared to same age peers. This lack of advanced education can have a substantial impact on a former foster youth’s employment opportunities moving forward. The difference in earnings over a lifetime is over a million dollars between a university graduate and someone who did not complete high school.
While many young people across Canada continue to rely on their parents for housing, financial, and emotional support well into their 20s, youth leaving foster care are expected to be completely independent at the age of 18. This means they may not have anyone to fall back on if they miss a bill payment, are temporarily out of work, or a large expense comes up. This leaves many young people at risk for unstable housing. Research shows a significant relationship between adult homelessness and a history of living in foster care. A Raising the Roof study from 2009 with street-involved youth found that 43% of survey respondents had also been in foster care.
The aim of the Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program is to provide foster children and youth in care with resources and opportunities that might be otherwise unavailable to them. With the proper tools, these students can work towards building a better life for themselves through the pursuit of higher education. Eligibility requirements and access to the bursary application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application