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Media Release: Coast Capital supports higher ed for cognitively challenged youth

Posted on April 30, 2019

News-2017-CASE Students-0089-800

VANCOUVER – Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union has donated $20,000 to support Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Gateway to Post-secondary (GPS) program. The program provides an opportunity for cognitively challenged youth to bridge their education between high school and post-secondary.

The GPS program was developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to prepare students for VCC’s industry-specific Adult Special Education programs such as Food Service Careers and Retail and Hospitality Careers. The program is customized to serve diverse learners needing to complete and/or advance their education and includes a mix of classroom and supported field activities.

“This funding addresses a significant education gap where education assistance for students with developmental disabilities drop off after high school,” says Ingrid Defert, VCC Community and Career Education (CACE) department head.

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, students with learning disabilities enroll in post-secondary programs at one-tenth the rate of the general population. Their post-secondary graduation rate is 3.6 per cent compared to post-secondary students without disabilities, who graduate at 62.1 per cent. 

“Student outcomes from GPS have been outstanding due to the experiential, hands-on learning that students participate in over the course of the program,” says Pan Neuman, VSB district resource teacher, secondary transition. “The program offers students a necessary bridge between high school and college life that facilitates a successful transition. Students, parents, and teachers at VCC often comment on how prepared the students are for college once they complete the GPS program.”

The $20,000 donation is provided by Coast Capital’s Youth Get It Community Investment program, which aims to empower Canadian youth to break down barriers in their journey to independence.

“Coast Capital Savings is committed to supporting youth in our local communities,” explains Maureen Young, Director of Community Leadership at Coast Capital Savings. “Through our Community Investment Grants, we are able to support youth-serving organizations like Vancouver Community College, who provide essential programming and support to local youth who need some extra help. We are thrilled to enable programs like VCC’s Gateway to Post-Secondary program that provide young people with access to resources and supports that help them navigate post-secondary education and find success.”

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 120 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With campuses located in Downtown Vancouver, on East Broadway, and on Annacis Island, VCC offers hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, music, and more.

About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to be granted federal credit union status.  An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, the credit union invested $5.9 million into local communities in 2018, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. In 2018, Coast Capital was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award at National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Island Chapter. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit coastcapitalsavings.com.

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Media can contact:

Fareedah Rasoul Kim
Marketing and Communications Officer
Vancouver Community College
604.871.7000, ext. 7538
frasoulkim@vcc.ca