VICTORIA - As students continue the return to lecture halls and laboratories throughout the month, the B.C. government has added $1.4 million to a bursary fund for B.C. youth formerly in government care.
The Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF) is available to young people who were in the permanent care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a delegated Aboriginal agency until reaching adulthood.
Eligible students can receive bursaries of up to $5,500 for tuition, books, fees or living expenses while studying at designated post-secondary and vocational institutions. The bursary does not have to be repaid.
As a result of bursaries awarded in the last educational year, more than 250 students were able to pursue their post-secondary and vocational goals. Since the fund's inception in 2002, more than 1,100 youth have received YEAF bursaries to help fund their post secondary education.
The YEAF program is administered in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Victoria Foundation.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -
"When youth who have spent time in continuing care become adults and transition to independence, we need to help set them up for success. YEAF provides financial support so they can move forward and build their own futures."
John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology -
"Post-secondary education is key to British Columbia's economic growth, and many students need financial support to achieve their post-secondary goals. YEAF bursaries help B.C.'s former youth in care acquire the skills to reach their full potential and compete in our knowledge-based economy."
Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation -
"The Victoria Foundation is proud to facilitate this program and see the meaningful impact on a vulnerable youth population. Thanks to YEAF, these youth are able to pursue their education and acquire the skills they need for their future."
Lily Zhou, YEAF Recipient -
"I am finishing my master of public health program this year and receiving YEAF bursary funding has helped me tremendously to achieve this educational goal. This funding has not only decreased my stress and worry about how to pay for my schooling, it has also allowed me to concentrate fully on my studies and career volunteering opportunities."
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development has contributed $8.9 million to the Youth Education Assistance Fund to date.
- B.C. youth aged 19-24 who were in permanent care of the government may be eligible to receive YEAF bursaries up to four times throughout their academic careers.
- Students must be studying full-time or with a reduced course load for students with a permanent disability.
- Applications are accepted at any time during the year.
YEAF program: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/yeaf/index.htm
Apply for a bursary: www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/yeaf.htm
For more information about the Victoria Foundation, visit its website: http://www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca/
Ministry of Children and Family Development