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Coast Capital helps break down barriers for special needs youth

Posted on January 19, 2021

Special needs student in Culinary

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Community College (VCC) is delighted to announce that Coast Capital Savings has donated $18,500 to support VCC's Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program. Coast Capital has contributed $63,500 key funding towards the program over the past three years. 

GPS was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to help students with cognitive disabilities and diverse learning needs successfully bridge their education to post-secondary programs and/or industry. 

“The GPS program has opened the doors to many possible careers for students that they may have not been aware even existed,” says VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head, Ingrid Defert. “Many students transition smoothly from the GPS program into VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs in food service, retail, and hospitality. They also come more prepared and less anxious about college life because of the program.”  
Since the pilot launched in 2014, the program has served 80 students thus far.
“The program has been instrumental in breaking down barriers and give students with disabilities greater confidence and independence as they transition to post-secondary,” says Defert. “The key has been to familiarize students with post-secondary life as early as possible. Students tour VCC as young as grade 9 and stay connected until they graduate high school.” 

About Vancouver Community College

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located in East Vancouver, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings aims to help youth achieve what is important in their lives and build a strong financial future. We invest in programs that help young people build the foundation that will help them navigate life, achieve the education they need, prepare for the world of work and build their financial capabilities; all with a goal of contributing to a young person’s journey to becoming empowered and financially independent. We want all youth to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and have a particular interest in helping vulnerable youth who face more significant challenges.
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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538