Underrepresented students can apply for $10,000 Ajax bursary program


Published April 8, 2024 at 10:20 am

Ajax town hall

The Town of Ajax has relaunched its $10,000 Shining Star Bursary program to help marginalized youth with their post-secondary studies.

The program opened for applications on April 8 to “provide underrepresented youth with an opportunity to access post-secondary education and achieve success in higher education,” per the town.

For the fourth straight year, two students from each of Ajax’s five high schools will each receive $1,000 to help with their college, university or trades studies.

Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 21 and be full-time students in good standing at Ajax High School, J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School, Pickering High School, or Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School.

They must also have applied to or been accepted at “any post-secondary education program at the college or university level or an accredited trades/apprenticeship program.” They needn’t have applied for OSAP, but if they haven’t the reason why should be explained in the application.

Finally, applicants must be Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour, a person with a self-identified disability, or part of the LGBT+ community.

There should be a great many eligible students as Ajax is one of Ontario’s most diverse communities. The 2021 census found more than 65 per cent of the town’s population is from a visible minority group and 42 per cent immigrated to Canada.

“I am pleased to be a part of this program for Ajax youth for the fourth year, as we continue to support and promote the value of having a diverse population and understanding the varying socio-economic needs of our underrepresented youth. Ajax youth consistently shine in their studies, share their progressive ideas and insights and contribute to creating a positive future that is diverse and inclusive for all. I am looking forward to helping kick-start the academic journeys of another ten shining stars this year,” said Mayor Shaun Collier.

Applicants can apply online or via mail. They are instructed to write a letter addressed to Collier about their academic and professional goals and how they meet the program’s criteria. The letter should be double-spaced and no longer than 800 words.

“The Town of Ajax is proud of the youth in our community who continuously prove to have brilliant thoughts, innovative ideas and perspectives, making the future of our industries one that is optimistic, diverse and inclusive,” they wrote.

The application deadline in May 18.

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