Storwell Offers a $2,000 Annual Bursary to Help Former Children and Youth in Care Pursue Post-Secondary Education

In response to the growing number of children and youth in and from care who struggle to afford post-secondary studies, Storwell Self Storage has developed the Foster Children Bursary Program. Storwell offers an annual bursary of $2,000 to help youth and young adults in and from care attend post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life. For every 1,000 youth in the Canadian foster care system, only eight (8) go on to graduate with a post-secondary education. One of the largest barriers to entry for children, and youth in care is the financial burden that comes along with post-secondary education.

The financial burden of post-secondary education is felt particularly strongly by Indigenous children, youth, who continue to be overrepresented within the Canadian foster care system. According to a 2019 report by the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development, the rate of children and youth in out-of-home care was 6.76 per 1,000 for all children and youth across the province, but was 43.8 for 1,000 for Indigenous children and youth.

Disconnection from family and community is another complex issue facing youth leaving care, which can impact critical support networks as they prepare to leave care. While many young people across Canada continue to rely on their parents or other family members for housing, financial, and emotional support well into their 20s, youth leaving care are essentially forced into independence at the age of 19. For some youth and young adults, this means they have no one to fall back on if they miss a bill payment, are temporarily out of work, or a large expense comes up. Safe, stable, and affordable housing is another huge issue facing youth in and from care. Research shows a significant relationship between adult homelessness and a history of living in foster care. A Raising the Roof study from 2009 with street-involved youth found that 43% of survey respondents had also been in foster care.

The vast majority of youth from care wish to attend university; however, fewer former youth in care pursue post-secondary education compared to their peers. When university or post-secondary education is pursued, significantly fewer former youth in care finish their studies compared to same age peers. This lack of advanced education can have a substantial impact on their employment opportunities moving forward. The difference in earnings over a lifetime is over a million dollars between a university graduate and someone who did not complete high school.

Along with providing accessible and affordable self-storage units, Storwell is also dedicated to helping out the local community through various charitable causes and social initiatives. As way to increase the financial supports available to children and youth in and from care, Storwell Self Storage decided to create an initiative that can help these children and youth after they have aged out of care and as they pursue post-secondary education.

The aim of the Foster Children Bursary Program is to provide children and youth in and from care with resources and opportunities that might be otherwise unavailable to them. With the proper tools, these students can work towards building a better life for themselves through the pursuit of higher education. Eligibility requirements and access to the application form can be found at: