Despite the challenges of growing up in foster care, Soraya Bellou recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelors degree in biology. (Contributed)

United Way invests $150K for Okanagan fostered youth to go to post-secondary

The Youth Futures Education Fund helps former foster kids pursue post-secondary educations

The United Way of the Lower Mainland has invested $150,000 in the Youth Futures Education Fund, a program that supports former foster kids, province-wide, as they pursue post-secondary education.

When going off to school, some young people have the support of family or friends to cover the immense cost. That’s not the case for former youth in care.

Despite the challenges of growing up in foster care, Soraya Bellou recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelors degree in biology. She has now completed her MCAT exams and is awaiting the results of her applications to medical school.

“When you’re young, you have big dreams,” said Bellou. “Dreams of graduating high school, going to prom with your crush, moving out of your family’s house and going to university – all with support from your family. But it’s different for kids in foster care.”

In her time in school, Bellou relied on the Youth Futures Education Fund to make her post-secondary dream possible.

“It relieved the stress of living expenses so I could focus on school,” she said. “Now, I can continue to pursue my dream of becoming a physician and giving back to others who have experienced difficulties in life.”

The investment’s impact will be felt across the Okanagan, helping several others in similar situations to Bellou.

According to the United Way, the investment will result in more local youth attending Okanagan College campuses on a provincial tuition waiver may receive support for living expenses — or those already receiving help could access more.

Last year, 43 students studied on a waiver across all four Okanagan College campuses and another nine did the same at UBCO.

READ MORE: Kelowna company apologizes for vulgar sign after vandalism

READ MORE: Details of arrest revealed in triple-murder case involving Kelowna dad


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland takes the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge

Take on Radon and the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative are partnering on the campaign.

Vees take 6-3 win against rival Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vees’ Jay O’Brien and Lukas Sillinger both had multiple-point games.

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Science Matters: Forming bonds in times of crisis

The climate and ecological crises touch each of us to varying degrees.… Continue reading

Give back this holiday season with SOWINS Share the Spirit campaign

Help women and children fleeing or living with abuse have a happy holiday

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Okanagan philanthropists treated to moving speech on National Philanthropy Day

David Roche shared his message to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and non-profits

Most Read