By Jenna Hobin
Through the generosity of the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, more students enrolled in the Enriched Support Program (ESP) and Indigenous Enriched Support Program (IESP) will have access to emergency funding to support basic needs such as clothing, food, medication and daycare. The Centre for Initiatives in Education (CIE) and the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives (CII) is transformative in opening the doors to higher education for youth entering university from non-traditional backgrounds.
“This partnership is such a beautiful expression of both Carleton and The TELUS Friendly Future Foundations’ belief in supporting youth that are underrepresented or underserved to reach their full potential,” says Manjit Basi, recently minted Chair of the TELUS Ottawa Community Board.
“For the Foundation, the work of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives at Carleton University directly aligns with our collective commitment to do good in the community, while creating intentional impact through meaningful collaboration. The IESP and ESP programs provide the youth with the cultural, mentoring, wellness or academic scaffolding they need to flourish in post-secondary studies,” says Basi.
As transition year programs, the CIE and CII support students who have overcome personal barriers to access post-secondary studies such as homelessness, substance abuse, young mothers and those coping with mental health issues.
“Every youth has potential—it is just a matter of someone seeing and nurturing that potential,” says Basi. She continues, “These programs help students feel connected to community, create a sense of belonging and provide hope to fulfill their dreams.”
Carleton University shares this conviction, as the IESP and ESP programs provide students with a second chance to harness their potential while reducing barriers to fulfilling their aspirations.
During their transition year, students are provided with access to diversified programming including a peer-to-peer mentoring program, academic advising, cultural supports and special seminars to support them as they strive to gain entrance to a full-time Carleton degree program. For many students, having access to immediate financial assistance as provided through the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation can be integral in ensuring they can continue their academic journey.
“Every year we see ESP students who experience financial hardship and poverty,” says Jennifer Gilbert, Associate Director, Centre for Initiatives in Education. She continues, “For students on a low income, it doesn't take much to create an unexpected setback or unplanned expense that can cut into their food budgets or make it difficult to afford textbooks. Some emergency bursary funding at the right time can really improve their learning conditions and ability to pursue their goal of getting their university education."
“I have seen the difference that financial support can make in the lives of students pursuing post-secondary education,” says Benny Michaud, Director of the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives.
“Students in the Indigenous Enriched Support Program have already overcome many challenges in order to get to this point. Having emergency funding available ensures that they can continue to focus on their studies and future goals.”
With driving social purpose so strongly ingrained in the Foundation’s reason for being, Manjit Basi hopes their commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism inspires other individuals and organizations to give back within their capacity.
“Philanthropy is based on acts of kindness, and we can all give back in some shape or form," says Basi. She continues, “It can be the smallest thing but every single thing we do for others has the power to create a ripple effect in our communities.”
Manjit Basi expressed that the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is pleased to officially join Carleton on this collective mission to make a difference in the lives of youth in our community. “We are honoured to have a partnership with Carleton, and believe this investment will have a positive long-term impact on students, their families and the communities where they live and work,” she says.
At the Hub for Good, read more partnership stories, explore opportunities to get involved and learn how Carleton University makes an impact around the world.
Human Computer Interaction Building
1125 Colonel By Drive