Text on screen: [Vancouver Island University’s Tuition Waiver Program helps open doors to university students who grew up in the foster care system. Tia Schaefer helps students accessing the program navigate the university experience.]
Tia Schaefer: I didn’t think about university for pretty much until I found out about the program, because I never knew it was an option for me.
I didn’t grow up really wealthy, and then I was in foster care, so I never really had that dream accessible to me. But when I found out, though, that was probably one of the three most happiest times in my life.
VIU is the first campus and first institute in Canada to hire a Peer Support Navigator, which is to navigate students accessing the Tuition Waiver Program and helping them get services on campus, off campus, and help with growth of themselves as an individual. There are so many students out there that are going to age out of care for 19, who don’t know this is available. They don’t know services on campus. Even if you’re from that area in BC, at that university, you still don’t know what’s out there. I hear it from quite a few people, and some other students accessing the same program. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for it.
Text on screen: [Universities Canada logo. The voice of Canada’s universities. univcan.ca]
Vancouver Island University’s Tuition Waiver Program helps open doors to university students who grew up in the foster care system.