Andrew Parker spent much of his childhood living in foster care. As an adult he’s taking advantage of the former youth in care tuition waiver. NIC Image

College support available for former youth in care

Waiver covers tuition up to $5,500 per year

When North Island College (NIC) student Andrew Parker heads back to the Campbell River campus for his fourth and final Level of Heavy Duty Apprenticeship training this January, he won’t be worrying about how to pay for it.

Parker, who lived in numerous foster homes before the age of 10, will receive a Former Youth in Care post-secondary tuition waiver that will pay for his education. Now working as a heavy duty mechanic in the forestry industry, he took advantage of the waiver for this Level 3 training and will do the same for Level 4.

“Having financial support through the Tuition Waiver program allowed me to take the program I wanted without having to worry about tuition,” said Parker. “It gave me the freedom to say, `These are the courses I want to take and this is what I want to do with my life,’ and then being able to do it.”

RELATED: VIDEO: NIC takes the Mirror on tour of new space

The Former Youth in Care funding was launched in September 2017 by the province to improve access, services and educational outcomes for former youth in care. The waiver covers tuition up to $5,500 per year. Former youth in care can also receive Youth Futures Education funding, which covers books, supplies and living expenses while attending school.

In the 2018-2019 school year, 35 NIC students received the youth in care tuition waiver, but not all former youth in care are aware the program exists.

RELATED: TV and film crew training returns to NIC

“We’re really trying to get the word out about funding supports like the Tuition Waiver Program,” said Sarah Deagle, assistant registrar at NIC’s Campbell River campus. “We encourage students to speak to our financial advisors to see what financial supports are available that they may be able to access.”

Parker is looking forward to finishing his final level of apprenticeship training and getting his Red Seal. He’s grateful for the support he’s received, including the waiver program.

“A lot of youth in care don’t have role models that have an impact on their lives,” he said. “But if you surround yourself with good people – school counsellors, grandparents and friends – they’ll want the best for you and help you get what you want out of life. I would encourage any other former youth in care to take advantage of this support.”

For more information about financial support, including the Tuition Waiver Program, visit www.nic.bc.ca/finanical-support.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Still time to grab a tag and help a local child this Christmas

As of end of day Tuesday, there were still 134 tags remaining on the Angel Tree

Campbell River municipal tax rate to rise 2.9 per cent in 2020

City council deliberated on next 10-year financial plan over three days this week

Blood Water II: Fish processing plant still discharges contaminated effluent, activist says

But company says testing and monitoring shows it has no measurable impact on the environment

Two Campbell River teens receive prestigious sport award

Ty Ludwikowski and Emoni Bush presented with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

Design work underway on Strathcona Dam upgrade near Campbell River

Project will allow facility to draw water in the event of an earthquake

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Vancouver Island town to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

Opening day delayed at Mount Washington

Dec. 6 was set as opening day but will now be delayed due to lack of snow.

Province begins forfeiture of Shawnigan contaminated soil site

The forfeiture proceedings do not impact the closure plan for the landfill site

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

Bag of cocaine left in Vancouver Island grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Most Read