WEST KOOTENAY – Selkirk College will be able to further support students who have overcome early lifetime challenges to achieve their goals with increased provisions recently announced by the Provincial Government.
Changes to the Agreement with Youth Adults (AYA) Program announced mid-October by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development will provide extended support for current and former youth in care from two to four years and eligibility boosted to the age of 26.
The AYA program covers costs like living expenses, child care, tuition and health care, while youth in care students attend post-secondary.
Selkirk College is offering support to students that are in foster care or aging out of care. The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development recently announced increased provisions and changes to the provincial Agreement with Youth Adults Program.
“We continue to make excellent progress at providing the supports that all our students require to be successful,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “Enhancements to the AYA program really supports Selkirk College’s goal to widen our inclusion and minimize barriers for students who were in care. The Provincial Government is taking action on making a brighter future for these students. We fully support this direction and will ensure these students have every opportunity to achieve their goals.”
Students who have been in the foster care system are offered more than a tuition waiver and other funding support at Selkirk College. Through the Healthy Campus Initiative, a considered and holistic approach ensures individual needs are assessed and specific referrals made. Orientation to campus life includes an introduction to former-youth-in-care peer mentors.
Meaningful Support Accompanies Financial Aid
“Selkirk College is pleased to be able to offer flexible and meaningful support to encourage success,” says Leslie Comrie, Selkirk College’s Healthy Campus Advisor. “We recognize that youth in care come to post-secondary education with considerably more barriers than students with intact and close family ties. In the absence of family, youth in care are often scrambling to find the basics such as dishes, bedding, or a computer to complete their course work.”
Comrie celebrates extended eligibility which allows time for students to complete their education.
Enhancements to the AYA program mean that BC leads in Canada. No other province in the country provides this extensive degree of support – and for as long – to young adults who have been in government care. The Ministry of Children and Family Development reports an additional 500 students in care will qualify for support.
Selkirk College is one of 11 post-secondary institutions offering tuition waivers to youth transitioning out of foster care. Selkirk College’s Current and Former Youth in Care Financial Assistance Program, is an initiative aimed at making post-secondary education more accessible for youth in care. Students who enter Selkirk College through this funding program are eligible for up to $2,500 in funding support.
For more information about options available at Selkirk College go to selkirk.ca
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