Columbia Basin students graduating from high school are invited to apply for the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Youth Community Service Awards, valued at $2,000 and awarded based on volunteer community service rather than academic standing.
“CBT is proud to present these awards to youth who have made a difference in their communities,” said Lynda Lafleur, CBT Community Liaison. “The awards reward and encourage the involvement of youth, and assist them in achieving post-secondary education and training. In this day and age, $2,000 is a huge boost to students looking to enter post-secondary education, as it makes a huge difference to tuition. And if they already have enough money for tuition, by whatever means they get it, the award can go towards books, transportation, bus passes or more.”
Last year, the award total was $40,000, but this year, has been increased to a total of $90,000 for more awards.
“Upon school reviews, it was apparent that student numbers differed from facility to facility,” said Lafleur. “So the board agreed to increase the number of awards per school (if there was a higher number of students there).”
All students graduating from a Basin high school, alternate school or other institution that grants graduation diplomas recognized by the Ministry of Education are eligible for the award.
“The key to this one is that students who are in alternate education facilities or private schools are still eligible,” said Lafleur.
Schools with a graduating class of lower than 25 will receive one award; those with up to 75 students will receive two awards; and those with more than 75 will receive three awards. At least one award will be presented to each high school catchment area.
“We just want them to go to school, and this program makes a huge difference for that,” said Lafleur.
Applications are available at local high schools and online at www.cbt.org/ycsa. Applications must be submitted by April 15, 2011, to the public senior secondary high school where the applicant resides.