The Arup Canada offices have been raising funds since 2009 to support the Greater Toronto Area’s Children’s Aid Foundation (“CAF”). To date, typical fundraising activities have included joining the CAF Marathon team, taking part in a teddy bear program, and delivering a host of events including a Children’s Holiday Party, pot luck lunches and an annual internal auction with the funds going to CAF’s Tutoring Program. The team have successfully secured funding from the Arup Charitable Group for the last three years to fund the Arup CAF Scholarship. This year a charitable partnership for the CAF was applied for and granted which allows Arup to contribute to additional scholarships while still keeping our contribution to the original Tutoring program.
The goal of the CAF scholarship program is to improve the career and life prospects of youth formerly in the care of Canada’s child welfare system by providing them with financial support to pursue post-secondary education.
Eligible applicants are current or former Crown Wards who were under the age of 26 when they entered their post-secondary program. If a student is continuing in a program they started before the age of 26, they can continue to receive funding until the age of 30. Scholarship applications are assessed using not just previous academic achievement, but also by students’ determination and potential for success. In this way, the CAF can support high-performing students, but can also motivate other students to develop confidence and help them to realize their potential.
Across Canada, more than 86,000 children and youth live in foster homes or a residential facility, and the Province of Ontario alone is the legal guardian of 9,000 Crown Wards, who have been permanently removed from their families and homes. Among the many challenges faced by youth in care, education has been identified as particularly significant. In fact, just 44% of youth in care in 2012-2013 graduated from high school, compared with 81% of the general population. In 2013-2014 this percentage increased to over 53%. In this small way Arup is indeed making the world a better place one person at a time.