Education is and always will be very important in building a strong foundation in one’s life.
This is especially true in terms of looking at our future generation. We want our youth to be educated, to be up to date with current issues, and able to provide knowledge to the next generation. Education is a strong building block in building a stronger and healthier community.
This starts by putting an emphasis on the importance of education in our youth today. As a community, it is our obligation to help a child develop their identity and be a contributing factor to society. We must refocus on the idea that a child is the centre of our community.
As a community we must provide protection, security, knowledge, and most importantly good values. If we can help our youth to become positive and engaging members of society, this will only help in developing, not only a stronger and healthier community, but a safer one as well.
When considering the shaping of our future generations, we must look seven generations back and seven generations ahead. It is important to respect our past in terms of how we were raised and how we can develop previous teachings to ensure that our future is growing as well. It is important to stress these values and to create a path for future generations to follow.
A key factor in maintaining these values, again, is education. As a community, we want to see our children grow into strong leaders to develop and nurture our community further. Education and the importance of pursuing post-secondary education are vital to the development of our children and the community. However, there are many barriers that limit access to post-secondary education, especially in the Point Douglas area, such as: the cost to pursue post-secondary education, awareness of financial resources, literacy for application processes for these resources, lack of trust in the benefits of resources, lack of stability, as well as many others. This is where we, the Winnipeg Boldness Project, come in.
Situated in the Point Douglas area, one of our many focuses is the need and importance of education for children and families. With a child-centered philosophy, we are developing methods to help residents access resources in order to help them to save for post-secondary education.
By looking at all of the present barriers, The Winnipeg Boldness Project is narrowing the scope on these issues to help facilitate families through these processes. We want to provide solutions for families through existing resources, and one in particular is the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).
The first of five Proofs of Possibilities (POPs), the Canada Learning Bond is a federal program that provides money to families for their children’s post-secondary education in the form of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). In the Point Douglas area there is a huge gap between children who are eligible for the CLB and those who have accessed it. Currently there are approximately 2500 children benefitting versus 10900 children who are eligible to receive benefits of the Canada Learning Bond. Closing this gap of over 8000 children represents a great opportunity for the community that would create an additional 16.8 million dollars in education savings flowing into the savings accounts of Point Douglas families.
Therefore, the Winnipeg Boldness Project is trying to help families obtain a CLB through a community centred approach on the importance of saving for an education for their child and how to access it. The CLB, with an initial deposit of $500.00 can eventually grow into $2000.00 specifically towards a child’s post-secondary education, whether it is a College, University, CEGEP, Trade School, or an apprenticeship.
By engaging families to start the saving process earlier, we are hoping to help children and families build a college-bound identity: that is, to change the question in children’s minds from “should I go to college?” to “where should I go to college?” Research conducted on this idea has proven that having a savings bond for a child can increase school performance, attendance, and motivation to pursue post-secondary education.
Engaging our children earlier on is the only way to ensure that seven generations from now will continue to flourish into a stronger and healthier community.