Building a New Future

At 18 years old it can be difficult to decide on a path to follow, to make decisions about what you’d like to do for a career and how you’ll get there.  The difficulty of those decisions can be compounded when you’re also facing troubles in your school and family life.  Those were the challenges one young student from Vancouver was facing.

STAND grant recipient Ralph says, “I didn’t really know where I would go in life and how I would even get there.” The first step on his path to success was his enrolment into the Pinnacle Alternative School, which helped him reach his education goals.  From there his dreams became reality, leading him to enroll in the automotive service technician program at BCIT. “The automotive program is a perfect fit for me.  I’m passionate about the course and find that the variety of the program helps ensure that I never get bored,” says Ralph.

“It all started with one small step, I first heard about the STAND Foundation through my guidance counsellor.  They thought I’d be a good fit for the foundation grant, and I’m so glad they did.”

The STAND Foundation has helped fund a large portion of the tuition for this young student, something he says has been crucial in providing him with the education he needs.

“There’s no way I’d be able to focus full-time on my studies without the support of the STAND Foundation.  I’m positive that without their help I’d be working a full-time job, or even two part-time jobs just to be able to afford to be in the program,” reflects Ralph. “I can’t express how much of a relief it is to know that the financial stresses of secondary education are taken care of and I can focus on my school work.”

He’s excited about the next step of his education, and is also pursuing further involvement with the STAND Foundation, recently applying for the mentorship program. “STAND has provided the guidance and financial independence I needed to reach my goals.  I would recommend STAND to anyone that has the opportunity to use their service, who knows where a little support can take you,” says Ralph.

 “I really do see myself pursuing the automotive technician career.  The challenge, variety and hands-on work environment really fits with my interests.  It’s exciting to know that I’m able to pursue a career that I’m truly passionate about.  I’m not sure where I would be right now if it wasn’t for the help I received from my guidance counsellor and the funding from STAND.  I’m excited to see where this will take me.”

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