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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UBCO announces new top boss for Okanagan campus

Lesley Cormack will start in the position this summer

Nine West Kelowna athletes to go to B.C. Winter Games

The athletes will compete in biathlon and cross country ski

Kelowna Toyota to attempt to break Guinness World Record for most stickers on a car

The event is being held to raise money for the Kelowna and West Kelowna fire departments

Rockets’ Nolan Foote traded to New Jersey Devils

The Devils acquired Foote and a 2020 first-round pick from the Lightning in exchange for Blake Coleman

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

Most Read