Youth in care from across Southeastern Ontario are heading to Queen’s University on November 9th to get a feel for post-secondary education and to talk about their options for attending college or university, an apprenticeship program or to learn more about employment opportunities.
On June 25th, 2013, the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) announced new supports for current and former Crown wards of CASs in the form of “free tuition” at all of Ontario’s universities, as well as numerous colleges. This initiative builds on a number of other programs supporting youth from Children’s Aid Societies to access and complete post-secondary education.
Youth, foster parents and staff from two regional Children’s Aid Societies will be attending the all-day event hosted by the region’s Crown Ward Education Championship Team (CWECT). The Team is comprised of Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Highland Shores Children’s Aid, the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, the Limestone District School Board, Loyalist College, St. Lawrence College, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University and the KEYS Job Centre. Financial support to the Team is provided through the combined Ministries of Education, Children and Youth Services and Training, Colleges and Universities.
Youth participating in the event will be provided with information on financing post-secondary education, the application process, a tour of the campus and residence as well as employment and skills training. Keynote speakers include Catherine O’Rourke, a foster parent and staff member at Loyalist College who will speak about educational experiences as well as personal and professional challenges and Candice Pilgrim, a former youth in care who is now a lawyer who was called to the Bar in January of this year. She currently works in the area of human rights in prisons, for women and girls. Candice will be moving into the practice of family law and general litigation in Belleville in February of next year.
“These are some of the most deserving youth in our region. All the partners have come together to help them get a good start in life – Children’s Aid, universities and colleges, school boards and the government. This is a real success story,” said Mehroon Kassam, Chair of the Crown Ward Education Championship Team.