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.

Just Posted

Valley First feeds a big Okanagan need

Feed the Valley succeeding in fighting hunger

City of Vernon cuts Portland Loo hours

Facility now only open until 8 p.m.; council looks at adjusting schedule

Walk this way, if you dare at Armstrong farm theatre

Caravan Farm Theatre near Vernon presents Walk of Terror

Rockabilly and zombies merge for good cause in Vernon

Living Independent Vernon to host Halloween dance to raise funds

North Okanagan salmon expert supports calls for change in salmon management

A North Okanagan salmon expert supports the Federation’s call to move away from net fishing

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

South Okanagan dangerous offender guilty plea struck down

Trial delayed again because Ronald Teneycke failed to elect his choice of trial

Six bears destroyed in three days in West Kelowna

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

West Kelowna Warriors being sold back to BC Hockey League

Current owner Kim Dobranski said the sale back to the BCHL should be completed by the end of October

Police standoff ends peacefully in West Kelowna

A distraught man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon

Most Read