Youth-in-Care to Receive Scholarships: Fund Helps Youth-in-Care Realize Dream of Post-Secondary Education

TORONTO – On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, more than 100 current and former youth-in-care of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) will receive approximately $100,000 in scholarships from the Hope for Children Fund, paving the way to a college or university degree and the promise of new career opportunities. 

Twenty-one-year-old Sheldon is a Hope for Children Fund Scholarship recipient studying Child and Youth Work at Sheridan College. “There’s no question that as a former youth in care, I face a much bigger financial load than my friends,” says Sheldon.  “I don’t have the option of living at home or relying on family for help with internet or phone bills. My life’s goal is to help kids develop a sense of purpose and a better sense of who they are.  By giving me some financial breathing room, the Hope for Children Fund scholarship has allowed me to pursue my education, while working part-time to pay the bills.” 

While more than half of Canadian 20-24-year-olds live with their parents, under provincial legislation youth aging out of care must leave their foster or group home at age 18.  While some youth are able to maintain relationships with their former foster parents, many youth seeking to complete their schooling deal with the competing pressures of finding and sustaining decent, affordable housing, budgeting for utilities, groceries, clothing, tuition and text books and holding down part-time jobs. As a result, youth aging out of care struggle with their schooling and take longer to complete both high school and post-secondary education.

“We are so proud of the youth we support through the scholarship program,” says Kara Spedding, Manager, Hope for Children Fund. “Many of these young people face emotional and financial pressures that their peers have not had to deal with.  Most juggle multiple jobs while studying full-time, yet still go on to be great successes once they’ve completed their studies. For these reasons, the accomplishments of the youth we support are truly awe inspiring,” added Ms. Spedding.

Since 1986, the Hope for Children Fund has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and special achievement grants supporting nearly 1,000 students in their educational pursuits. 

Scholarship Event Details:
Hope for Children Scholarship Event
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the 
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor

About Hope for Children Fund:
The Hope for Children Fund supports the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) by raising funds for education and poverty relief programs for children, youth and families who receive services from CCAS. We believe by investing in our children and youth, and by helping families through difficult times, we can transform our community. To learn more about Hope for Children Fund, please visit:

-    81 per cent of Ontario youth graduate high school, while youth in care have a graduation rate of 44 per cent. (Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies [OACAS], Child Welfare Report 2011)

Ontario Children’s Aid Societies recommend that Ministry policy be changed to allow youth to stay in foster or group home care until they finish high school, and they have had the chance to acquire the skills they need to succeed on their own. (OACAS, Child Welfare Report 2011)

To arrange an interview with Sheldon or for more information about the event, please contact:

Gehna Singh
Manager, Communications 
Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Tel: 416.395.1506 

Anne Rappé
Communications Specialist 
Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Tel: 416.395.1508