For the 35th year, Black students across Canada will receive scholarships to help them pursue their post-secondary education. An award program was set up by the Black Business and Professional Association, a non-profit that “addresses equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education and economic development.”
Higher educational aspirations among Black youth
A study by the Canadian government shows that Black youth are more apt to want higher education than other youth but are less likely to attain it. The study involved a group of young people from 2006 to 2016. Results suggest that young Black youth were as likely as other young Canadians to graduate high school but were less likely to get a postsecondary degree, particularly young Black men. There could be several reasons for this but if money is a problem, the Black Business and Professional Association has stepped in to help with scholarship funding.
Triple the applicants this year
There were three times the number of applicants for this year’s awards and an increase of 78 per cent in the number of scholarships bestowed.
The recipients were chosen on the basis of their academic excellence, financial need and contributions they have made to their communities.
Normally, recipients are given their scholarships at a ceremony, but because of the pandemic there will be a virtual event instead.
Among the corporate donors are TD Bank, the supermarket chain Loblaws, York University and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Among the 86 award recipients is Amrita LaRose, a first-year student at Carleton University in Ottawa. She is pursuing a Human Rights, Social Justice and Law degree. Her goal is to work in education policy.
Carlton Darby is a third year student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He is studying chemical engineering and would like to eventually work in the food industry and bioengineering.
The Black Business and Professional Association was founded in 1983 and is based in Toronto. Its stated goals are:
- To encourage and support the pursuit of entrepreneurship, business, professional excellence, higher education, and economic empowerment.
- To facilitate access to ecosystems and resources.
- To identify and reward excellence in achievement.
- To establish linkages and co-operate with other organizations on matters pertaining to business, education, economic development and community wellness.
- · To build cross-cultural understanding and promote equity.