Three Surrey residents are recipients of BC Housing Education Awards that will help them further their education, achieve their goals and improve their lives.
"The BC Housing Education Awards provide financial support for British Columbians working towards their academic goals," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. "This year's award recipients are creating opportunities for themselves and the provincial government is proud to contribute to their future success."
"Education is one of the most powerful tools to enable individuals in our province to achieve economic self-sufficiency," said Kevin Falcon, Minister of Finance and MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. "With the help of these awards, recipients in Surrey will be one step closer to achieving their career goals."
"Our government recognizes that education is a great way to combat poverty and improve one's situation in life," said Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development and MLA for Surrey-Panorama. "By working together and providing opportunities, we can help people obtain the education they desire to achieve success."
"The recipients of these education awards have inspirational stories of overcoming barriers and challenges in pursuit of improving their lives," said Dave S. Hayer, MLA for Surrey-Tynehead. "I congratulate them all and offer my best wishes in their future studies and careers."
Anyone in British Columbia who is living in subsidized housing, or receiving rent subsidies through BC Housing's Rental Assistance Program, is eligible to apply for the 98 bursaries and awards. The funds can be put towards tuition or other educational expenses such as books or supplies.
Surinder Lally will use her $1,000 Kinloch Award to study sciences at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Since leaving her abusive marriage and taking on the role of single mother to three young children, Surinder has relied on assistance to help make ends meet. Despite these challenges, she hopes for more for herself and her children.
"I left my husband to show my children that there is a better life. I decided to go back to school so that I can get a good job that will help me raise my children and educate them," said Surinder. "I hope that they will be able to support themselves, have value for themselves and respect for others."
Applicants submitted a personal statement describing their educational and personal goals, and challenges they have overcome, as well as letters of reference and academic transcripts. The BC Housing Education Awards Program offers five types of awards and bursaries:
- BC Housing Bursary - 72 bursaries, worth $750 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 to pursue adult basic education, vocational education or post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.
- BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies - 10 awards, worth $1,000 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 pursuing post-secondary or vocational education on a full-time basis.
- Margaret Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award - Margaret Mitchell was a dedicated housing advocate and helped develop the BC Housing's Education Awards Program. This $750 award recognizes a youth graduating from Grade 12 for excellence in academics, sports, the arts or community involvement who will pursue education or vocational training on a full-time basis.
- Minerva Foundation Award for BC Women - There are five $1,000 awards to help Aboriginal women pursue full-time, post-secondary education. This award is designed to help single mothers advance their education, assist women with children fleeing abusive relationships, retrain mature women returning to the workforce, advance women in non-traditional fields of study, and support women with disabilities to overcome educational barriers.
- The Kinloch Education Award for women - 10 awards at $1,000 each are awarded to women who may have overcome significant barriers in their lives which hindered their educational opportunities and who are now pursuing post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
Visit www.bchousing.org to learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness.