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Explanation of the Bethany Hope Centre Bursary Program

Applications are accepted all year round

In addition to the wide variety of programs which are offered at the Bethany Hope Centre, a Bursary Fund has been established as an extension of the Learning Coach Program. This Bursary Program aims to help young parents pursuing higher education by reducing financial barriers. This fund is maintained by donations (please note that all charitable donations made by the public are income tax deductible).

Who is eligible?

All Current Bethany Hope Centre participants (29 years of age or under, pregnant or parenting)

Types of Bursary Available

There are only two types of bursary available, but there can be many bursary winners each year. All of our bursary recipients will receive up to $1000 toward attending a post-secondary educational institution. Every applicant will be considered for every available bursary.

Bursaries are available for full-time attendance either at a university, college, or a technical/vocational institute
Bursary funds are transferred directly to the student’s post-secondary school account once they have started the program
Bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need and previously demonstrated capacity for successful completion of program of studies.
We’ll be looking at: the applicant’s school transcript, an essay written by the applicant or an interview with the bursary committee, letters of reference from the applicant’s teachers or counsellors (Note: letters of reference are an asset but are not required. Letters cannot be written by BHC staff)

1. Grace’s Fund (est. 2010)
This initiative was established by a student who graduated from the Learning Coach Program, received a university degree and attained a career. She has chosen to give back to the community by funding this $1000 award each year. This award is called “Grace’s Fund”. It is named after her niece, who lost her life at a very young age. It is renewable for up to four years.

2. Anastasia Valentine Bursary (est. 2019)
Anastasia Valentine is a local businesswoman and entrepreneur. She has an interest in supporting young families in general, but is most keen on supporting women entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She has pledged a generous sum which allows us to support many college and university students each year. This award is also renewable for up to four years.

Application Process
In addition to submitting your application here online, printed applications are also available at the Bethany Hope Centre, 820 Woodroffe Ave. Ottawa, ON K2A 3V7. Applications are accepted at any time of the year. However, completed applications should be received by April 1st to be considered for the fall term. Applicants will normally be advised by June 1st of the status of their applications.

All applications should be sent to the Bethany Hope Centre at the above address to the attention of the Learning Coach.

Bursary Selection Committee
The Bursary Committee is comprised of:

the Executive Director of the Bethany Hope Centrethe Learning Coach, anda Third Party (preferably a bursary donor, to be determined annually).

The committee meets twice annually, and more times if required based on frequency of applications. The static meeting dates will occur between the 1st and 15th of June (for fall semester applicants) and the 1st and 15th of November (for winter semester applicants).

Bursary Application Guide
This guide will assist you as you complete a Bethany Hope Centre bursary application.If you have any questions after reviewing this guide, please contact Phil Wakeford, Chair of the Bethany Hope Centre Bursary Selection Committee at (613) 799-2668 or LC@bethanyhopecentre.ca.

Why Bethany Hope Centre created a Bursary ProgramFor many young parents, planning for post-secondary education or training can be difficult. Even with a student loan through OSAP, there can be financial barriers. These bursaries are designed to be one more element support in Bethany Hope Centre’s toolkit of resources for young parents.

Who can apply for a Bursary?
Applicants must meet the following criteria to apply for a bursary:

  1. Eligible applicants must be an active participant of a Bethany Hope Centre program, (e.g. the Learning Coach Program, Buns in the Oven, Hope Ventures)
  2. a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant
  3. able to demonstrate a financial need
  4. attending, or intending to attend, a post-secondary program approved by the Bursary Selection Committee
  5. able to provide a letter of acceptance from your post-secondary institution
  6. able to provide an essay of no more than 500 words in which the applicant describes themselves and explains why they wish to pursue their chosen field of study
  7. eligible to receive this bursary up to a maximum of 4 years (i.e. University program)

Eligible Education Programs
Students attending any kind of education or training program are eligible to receive this bursary provided their place of study is a recognized learning institution. For example, students attending university or college are eligible as are students learning hairdressing, esthetics or other trades. The selection committee has final approval. If you are uncertain if the program you will be attending is eligible, call Phil Wakeford, Chair of the Selection Committee, at 613-799-2668.

How the Bursary Selection Committee makes its decision
The Bursary Selection Committee is made up of staff and board members from the Bethany Hope Centre.
The committee makes its decision through the use of an evaluation scale. The evaluation scale is a document that lists all the criteria for the application. Each area has been given a point value.

  1. Written submission/In-person interview
  2. High school transcript
  3. References (are a great asset!)
  4. Financial contribution of the applicant
  5. Willingness to be publicly recognized as a bursary recipient
  6. If there is information that you are unable to provide to the committee you should discuss this with the committee Chair noted above and or provide an explanation along with your application.

Filling out the Application Form

Contact InformationThe selection committee uses this information to get in touch with you about your application. The committee might have additional questions and will use your address to mail the information about your award to you should you receive one.

Background InformationThese questions provide the committee with information about the kind of programs you were involved with at the Bethany Hope Centre.

Financial informationThe committee will be looking at your total education expenses as well as your sources of income.It is unlikely that the Bursary Award will cover the total costs associated with your education/training goal. Individual annual awards may range between $500 and 1,000 depending on available funds in any given year. The total maximum awarded to any applicant in one year is $1,000.The committee will feel more confident of your ability to reach your educational goal if you have a general financial plan.You may be eligible for other financial aid. If you haven’t explored other financial aid options, we recommend that you discuss this with the learning institution you will be attending, or ask the Learning Coach.

Promotion of the Bursary Program

There are two parts to the promotion of the Bursary Program

Promotion to Donors – Share YOUR Story
The Bethany Hope Centre would like to increase the amount of money the bursary program receives to bring it to the level that allows an endowment fund to be created. An endowment fund would allow the program to use the interest earned on the endowment to fund the bursary and leave the principle intact.
One way to help us raise this money is to share your story on the Bethany Hope Centre website, or in through a local newspaper. This will let people know the value of helping graduates of the Bethany Hope Centre and encourage them to donate to the fund. The stories that inspire people to donate money most often are those that tell a story about a person that benefited from the donation.

Provide Role Models for Present Bethany Hope Centre Participants
We also invite bursary recipients to make presentations to young people presently receiving services at Bethany Hope Centre. As a bursary recipient you could be a role model to young people who may believe they have a limited future beyond Bethany Hope. One way to do this is to deliver an acceptance speech at our Academic Achievement Luncheon in June.

Other Items for Submission

Proof of Acceptance at an accredited learning institutionYou must submit a copy of a letter or other documentation indicating that you have been accepted to an education/training program.

High School TranscriptAs part of your application package you will need to include a copy of your high school transcript. If you did not attend high school you should indicate that on your application. Note that even if you did not graduate from high school or receive a diploma the bursary committee is interested in seeing what credits you did obtain at the senior high school level.

Written Submission

This is your chance to sell yourself as a good candidate for a bursary award. Your submission should be no longer than 500 words. The selection committee would like to see the following information provided in your written submission:

Why you have chosen the education/training goal you are pursuingWhat you have done in preparation to reach your goal (e.g. upgrading academic skills, working to earn money to pay for the program)How would a bursary award help you achieve your education/training goal?Why is it important for you to receive an award?Anything else you think is important for the selection committee to know.

Some people present their ideas better by talking than writing. If you would prefer to talk to the selection committee in person you are welcome to do so. Simply call the chair of the selection committee - 613-799-2668 - to set up a time to do this.

Written References are a Great Asset to Your Application!

Character ReferenceOne of the references could be from a person who knows you personally but is not a family member. This person should be able to comment on your ability to successfully achieve your learning goal. They should be able to give some examples of how you have achieved other goals. People you may want to approach for a character reference could include a counselor, social worker or pastor.Maybe your OW Worker would be willing to write a letter of reference?

Professional ReferenceThe other reference could be a professional reference. This should be a person who can speak about your work habits. It could be a former teacher or present to former supervisor in your workplace. It cannot be anyone from Bethany Hope Centre. Think about it for a few minutes, and ask if you need help figuring it out.

[ Check here for the online application form]

[Check here for the online application form]