In 2021, the program will grant 10 awards worth up to $40,000 each to single parents facing financial adversity. The funds can be used towards full-time or part-time studies at any public university, college or trade school in the province as well as the Native Education College.
“Single parents face many barriers – whether it’s finding flexible employment, getting childcare or paying for tuition if they decide to go back to school,” said Beedie in a news release. “Children in single-parent families in British Columbia have consistently experienced much higher poverty rates. Given this and the additional hardships brought on by the pandemic, we wanted to expand the Beedie Luminaries scholarship program to help provide much-needed support to single parents so they can upgrade their skills and open more doors for themselves and their children.”
In addition to demonstrating financial need, single parents looking to apply to the program also need to be referred by one of Beedie Luminaries’ community partners or be the parent of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship recipient. Beedie Luminaries’ community partners are the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Immigrant Services Society of BC, Mom2Mom, Mothers Matter, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the YWCA Metro Vancouver, Family Services of Greater Vancouver and the Minerva Foundation.
“This scholarship program will help take the burden off the shoulders of single parents who want to return to school,” says Ghezal Durrani, Community Development Coordinator at the YWCA Metro Vancouver and a single mother of three who put herself through university. “As a single parent wanting to go back to school, I felt lost and unsupported. When you’re working two jobs to pay the bills, it can be hard to not give up on your goals. This scholarship program will make a big difference in helping single parents upgrade their skills, obtain better jobs and build a brighter future for their families.”
In addition to financial support of up to $40,000 each, recipients will also be given access to mentors, Stay on Track student coaches, peer support groups and career development resources as well as access to the Beedie Luminaries online community and special events.
Beedie Luminaries launched on Nov. 13, 2018 with a $50-million donation from Beedie to coincide with his 50th birthday. To date, the foundation has provided scholarships and support to 208 grade 12 B.C. students now attending post-secondary institutions, with over 100 additional students currently being selected for the 2021 cohort.To learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit BeedieLuminaries.ca. The deadline for applications is April 22 at 9 a.m. Successful applicants will be announced in May.