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Graduate school the next step for former Peel CAS youth - Meet Nickay

When some people think of foster kids, they think of it as a disadvantage. I’ve never felt that way. I may have experienced some tragic events early on but they don’t define me. Actually, these experiences make me stronger. They have developed my resilience and motivate me to be successful.

I completed my bachelor degree with honors and am excited to be attending graduate school in the fall to study International Development. I hope to eventually go to Latin America to help set up a relief and education program. The fact that I am receiving a bursary provides security and relieves so much stress which will help me to stay focused on my studies.

I was very lucky to also have an amazing CAS worker for support. I feel like he saved my life. He always listened to what I was saying and was there whenever I needed him. He truly cared and made me feel like a part of his family and for that I am grateful.

I have some advice for other youth involved with CAS who are becoming independent and starting a post-secondary education. Spend your money wisely – budgeting is really important. Also, good relationships are essential – choose who you spend your time with carefully. If you feel like you are struggling, ask for help and access all of the resources that are available to you. And never forget that it is okay to fail – every challenge we face helps build us into the person we will become.

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Helping all youth leaving care to achieve success is a priority for Peel CAS. Peel Children’s Aid’s youth strategy focuses on education and employment. Youth are encouraged to stay in school and are eligible to apply for bursaries to pursue post secondary education. 
 
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* In 2016/17 55 youth received bursaries totalling $202,000! A big thank you to our donors.