Bursary opportunity for foster children seeks applicants

Blue and red text that states $2000 bursary for foster children. CREDIT: STORWELL SELF STORAGE
The $2,000 bursary is available to students who are part of the foster care system and will be heading to post-secondary this September.

It’s estimated that millions of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed in Canada each year. Most of this money is wasted due to lack of applications, with prospective students believing they need to excel in school or sports to apply, or that the process of applying is too time consuming. One such bursary is the Storwell Foster Child bursary, a $2,000 bursary that aims to help Canadian foster children pursue post-secondary schooling.

Approximately 63,000 children are foster children in permanent care in Canada. Due to a lack of financial support, only around 500 of those children will graduate from post-secondary education. Nikola Asambelevski, Storwell’s copywriter and Content Strategist, said this was one of the main reasons the company decided to start this bursary.

“The older you get within the foster care system, the less and less support you receive. I think [Storwell] saw that and saw that there was an opportunity to help these kids.”

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Since the pandemic, applications have “dried up,” according to Joseph Dinesh, Storwell’s Strategic Communications Specialist.

“In the past, before the pandemic, we always had a steady flow of applicants. With the pandemic on top of the current economic situation, higher education doesn’t become the priority.”

As of the writing of this article, the bursary has no applications. Dinesh said that they’ve been essentially chasing people to apply for the bursary to ensure it doesn’t go unclaimed.

“Unlike other big financial institutions, we don’t have, you know, the financial clout to advertise, right? Even if we did, our management would rather invest that money in helping students out,” Dinesh said.

Dinesh added that at one point, Storwell printed flyers in the hope to drive applicants to the bursary.

“We live in a day and age when no one’s actually looking at a flyer and typing the URL in a browser to submit the application.”

As to why students who were a part of the foster system are the focus of the bursary, Dinesh said that foster children are one of the most underrepresented demographics when it comes to scholarships and bursaries.

“Our hope would be to see other organizations similar to ours take the initiative and help this group.”

Applicants must be currently a foster child, or have been a foster child within either the Canadian or American foster system. They must be enrolled in post-secondary as of Sept. 2022, Canadian or American citizen or permanent resident, and agree to have their name, photo, and post-secondary institution displayed on Storwell’s website.

Eligible applicants interested in the bursary should head to storwell.com/bursary-application and fill out the form on the site. Some supplemental materials may be required as well.