Financial aid for education

Big Sister Legacy Fund

In brief, financial aid for education has a long history at YouthLink. Early in our history, when we were called Big Sister Association of Toronto education for youth was a major goal. Specifically, in 1920, we set up a fund to help teen-aged girls and young women overcome money challenges so they could go to school.
Ever since many hundreds of women, working as volunteer fundraisers, have kept that goal alive, with men joining in the efforts in the 1960s. To mark that dedication, the Association’s volunteers of 2008 established the Big Sister Legacy Fund.
This Fund provides financial support to YouthLink clients for their continued education through high school, college, university or apprenticeship training. Twice a year, successful applicants are awarded up to $2,000 per applicant for demonstrating keen commitment to their studies, an aptitude for them but insufficient money to continue with them.

Do I qualify for financial aid?

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be or have been a client of YouthLink for at least six months;
  • Be 16 to 24 years old;
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic performance; and
  • Show your acceptance into a secondary, post secondary, or apprenticeship program


How do I apply for financial aid?

To begin, simply let your YouthLink counselor or youth worker know that you would like to apply. Next, they’ll give you an application form to fill out. They’ll also help you with that if you wish. Specifically you will need to include an income/expense statement for the academic year, two letters of reference (at least one from YouthLink staff) and a typed or handwritten summary of your achievements, interests and any extra-curricular activities.

What are the application deadlines?

Applications should be submitted by November 15 for the Winter Term and July 1 for the Fall Term.

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Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, our What’s Up Walk-In services are now being offered online through video-conferencing. We know this is a stressful time for everyone, and we want you to be able to continue to access our counsellors and clinicians in a safe and secure way so we are now offering you online video-conferencing counselling and support.


Our E-Counselling What’s Up Walk-In service will be open Monday – Friday until further notice. If you would be interested in booking one of our daily video-conferencing appointments for a counselling or support session with a clinician, call 416-967-1773 extension 222 and you will be connected to our Intake department. E-Counselling and support is also available for many of our other programs. Intake staff can provide you with more information if you are interested.


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