Skip to content

More than 40 Coquitlam post-secondary students awarded portions of $550K education fund

The 2022 round of the Youth Futures Education Fund has increased to $600,000 for interested students previously in government care.
Douglas College campus in Coquitlam. | File photo

Dozens of B.C. young adults that have aged out of foster care were granted funds toward their education at a Coquitlam post-secondary school last year.

According to United Way British Columbia, 43 Douglas College students received a portion of a $550,000 pot between 2020 and 2021 to aid in their financial efforts, while earning equal access to their educational goals.

A total of 519 post-secondary students across the province were granted the funds.

Now, the Youth Futures Education Fund (YFEF) is returning for 2022 — this time, with $600,000 to be distributed.

With the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, United Way BC says there's been even greater financial strains for students.

"Thanks to the Youth Futures Education Fund, my world has shifted for the better," said Douglas College student "Sim" in a news release to the Tri-City News. She's currently working toward a PhD in psychology.

"I can focus my time and energy on my studies without financial stress hanging over my head. [...] I am beyond grateful for being given a chance to pursue my education in full force without struggling financially to survive."

Funds from the YFEF are primarily earmarked to help young adults pay for rent, food and textbooks.

United Way BC spokesperson Kim Winchell explains only 17 per cent of youth out of provincial government care enrol in a post-secondary within three years of graduating high school.

"Equal access to education means equal access to dreams," she says in a news release.

"Many lack the social and financial support networks that are accessible to other young people. Encouragement and guidance are essential for youth at this critical point in their lives — so is financial support. That’s why United Way British Columbia is pleased to support the Youth Futures Education Fund."

For more information or if you wish to make a donation to YFEF, you can visit the program's website.