THUNDER BAY – In response to the growing demand for financial assistance felt by youth pursuing higher education and career opportunities, the Dilico Children’s Foundation launched its new Aim High campaign earlier today at Dilico’s Heath Park site at 1115 Yonge St.
“We are absolutely thrilled to provide this award to a deserving student and we are very excited about the opportunity to offer a mentorship component as well,” said Rich Coulterman, district vice president of TD’s Northwestern Ontario commercial banking group. “Aboriginal youth are key to the success of our community and being here today to encourage them to aim high in their achievements is an amazing thing.”
The campaign, which was created to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation’s Rising Eagle Bursary Fund, was marked with a $5, 000 donation made by TD Bank to be awarded to a deserving student pursuing post-secondary education this fall. With over half of Canada’s Aboriginal population expected to be 25 years of age or younger by 2020, the need to support and promote education and training among this group is becoming increasingly more apparent.
The Rising Eagle Bursary Fund is an option for the 6,000 plus children and youth who access the child welfare and mental health services offered by Dilico Anishinabek Family Care each year. The program provides education incentives, cultural opportunities, scholarships and bursaries to youth who demonstrate merit and financial need. Funds are offered to youth in grade school, high school, college, university and training and apprentice programs as well as those entering the work force.
Campaign spokeswoman Crystal Davey, a former Dilico Crown Ward and now nurse practitioner with the agency’s Family Health Team, spoke about the importance of education in her life and the impact it had on her as a youth in care. “By choosing to pursue higher education, I’m now working in a career that I love where I get to help others every day,” she says. “I would never have come this far without the support I received from Dilico and my foster family and now I’m hoping I can be a role model for youth who might find themselves in similar situations.”
For more information about the Aim High campaign or to donate to the Rising Eagle Bursary Fund, interested parties can visit www.dilicochildrensfoundation.com.