Scholarship helps youth pursue higher learning
Cali Jamal thought his future was over when he received his high school diploma at Toronto’s City Adult Learning Centre.
Despite an 85 per cent average, the former East African refugee was ready to give up his dream for a university education and continue his $7-an-hour job at a warehouse because asylum seekers were not eligible for student loans.
Although the law eventually changed in 2004, Jamal was able to get a head start at University of Toronto’s business school in 2003, thanks to the Maytree Foundation scholarship program designed to help financially stressed young refugees pursue post-secondary education.
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Each year, the scholarship program awards eight to 10 refugee youth with a $17,000 scholarship, covering tuitions, books and living expenses. Since its 1999 inception, it has helped put more than 140 students through universities and colleges.
Maytree’s chair Judy Broadbent said the foundation started the program after noticing a growing number of young refugees being denied access to education — and a better future.