Donation boosts RRC Polytech bursary support net
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Red River College Polytechnic is creating 10 new bursaries with a recent $1.5-million donation that will more than double the school’s available awards for youth in care who require financial assistance.
The Winnipeg-based post-secondary institute announced Tuesday its latest prizes at a celebration for graduates of the child and youth care program — a two-year diploma that prepares students to work in treatment facilities, schools, mental health services, community sites and the justice system.
The Joyce Family Foundation Bursary is now the largest trust for student aid and “more than doubles RRC Polytech’s ability to support financially vulnerable students,” president Fred Meier said in a news release.
The private charity’s self-described mission is to make educational opportunities accessible to children and youth who have “significant financial need or (are) facing other socio-economic barriers to success.”
The foundation, which is based in Burlington, Ont., was created by entrepreneur Ronald Joyce (1930-2019). The Canadian billionaire was best known for investing in the first Tim Hortons location when it opened in Hamilton almost 60 years ago.
Ten students are anticipated to receive up to $5,000 per year through the fund. Previously, there were only nine school bursaries available to youth in care.
“Each successful applicant will be assigned an academic coach who will work with them throughout their studies to ensure the success of their program,” states an excerpt from the May 23 announcement.
The release indicates less than five per cent of all youth in care pursue post-secondary education in the province.
There are approximately 9,100 youth in local foster homes, according to the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal. Roughly nine in 10 of these children and youth are Indigenous.
Manitoba Advanced Education Minister Sarah Guillemard confirmed the province is contributing the equivalent of half of the foundation’s gift to increase the overall sum.
The government matches private donations to institutions that are members of the Manitoba Scholarship Bursary Initiative at a 1:2 ratio.
Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.