Opaskwayak Cree by heritage, Jodi grew up in B.C. She went into the foster care system at age 11. Despite the incredible adversity she faced, Jodi was resilient, and sought solace at school.
“When I went into foster care, school was the only stable piece of my life,” Jodi says. But she was determined to graduate – and more.
“I wanted to be a vision of success for my family,” Jodi says. I always knew my mom would be happy to see me graduate [high school], but I didn’t stop there.”
She is currently taking general studies in the Aboriginal Stream at Douglas College. While she uses a government waiver to cover her tuition and school fees, these are by no means the only costs for BC students.
Living expenses are almost $20,000 annually on average. Over 80% of families in BC with kids ages 19-28 support them financially – supports often not available to former youth in care.
For that reason, it doesn’t take long for former youth in care to struggle to make ends meet. Some students work multiple jobs while at school. Others hit pause on their education, withdrawing for a semester to work and save money, then returning when they can afford it.
The result? Many students take far longer to graduate. Or worse: some students burn out and withdraw altogether.
But the Youth Futures Education Fund helps mitigate these costs, levelling the playing field so former youth in care get a fair shot to succeed alongside their peers.