"You and your supporters will truly make a permanent difference in the lives of young people.–Almost the difference between living a life of poverty and having a life"
-Beverly Seed, Principal, Vancouver Technical School.
The Alternative School Grant Program provides grants to successful applicants from Greater Vancouver Alternative School Programs. Grants are designed to help students continue their education or enroll in a training program upon graduation. Candidates are selected based on STAND criteria and upon the advice of the school administrators (teachers, counsellors, principal). To date, grants have been awarded for students from the following institutions:
- Pinnacle program (Templeton Secondary)
- Spectrum program (Van Tech Secondary School)
- Total Education program (Eric Hamber Secondary)
- Tupper Young Parents Program (Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School)
- Kiwassa Education Program
- Vancouver Technical Secondary School
- North Vancouver Learning Centre
- Terry Fox Secondary School
A number of grants have also been awarded to students from outside the Lower Mainland such as Kitimat City High and Princeton Alternate School.
"We make sure that not only are students provided with the education they are lacking, but also provide them with the encouragement and support to help them discover what they are passionate about and how they can reach those goals," says Susan Downing (Head teacher, Pinnacle Alternative School Program). "Many of our students come from a background of neglect, abuse and broken families. We believe that nurturing our students comes first. We need to teach these students that people care about them and what to do they do with their lives; only then can we begin to provide them with the education they need to be successful."
Students that attend the Pinnacle Alternative School usually graduate within a year, but that will vary based on student schedules.
"We value focused education rather than education based around time constraints" says Downing, "We want students to focus on their education when they are able to, and using this model, we find our students are eager to complete their education."
To date graduate students have moved on to secondary education goals like automotive repair, mortgage brokerage, diesel mechanics and others.
"STAND has been amazing in their support. We've been fortunate enough that they have never said no to us when we've approached them with a funding request," she says. "STAND has been essential in providing funding when we've exhausted every other avenue."