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Post-Secondary Bursary Program

One of the most important elements of DCAF’s mission is to help youth obtain a proper education. Education is necessary to prepare them for their adult lives. Unfortunately, over 55% of our youth are dropping out of high school. Subsequently, youth in care are unfortunately at risk of poor outcomes. Over 15% of Durham’s youth are living in poverty. As a result, many youth feel they can not reach their goals and dreams. The Post-Secondary Bursary Program provides hope for youth.

DCAF and partners such as the John and Myrna Daniel’s Charitable Foundation, Durham Regional Police Service and Sunspace Sunrooms are supporters of the Gift of Education. These bursaries enable over 45 youth to complete post-secondary education to reach their educational goals. It’s been proven! Recipients benefiting from the Post-Secondary Bursary Program receive an opportunity to pursue their dreams.

The youth being supported have been hurt by abuse, neglect or their basic needs were not being met due to poverty. Bursaries for post-secondary education are supported 100% by donors. Supporters recognize the importance of these bursaries. The bursaries affirm a young person’s scholastic ability. In addition, bursaries also support their determination to succeed in the face of personal hardship. 

Support of post-secondary education aids in preventing the cycle of abuse and neglect. Education also provides hope for a bright future.  Bursary funds support housing, technology, tuition, books and other essential needs. DCAF is committed to helping youth in the care of the Durham Children’s Aid Society reach their full potential.   

How to Support

Consider making a personal donation in support of the Post-Secondary Bursary Program. The Martin J. Smith Endowment Fund was established to ensure that bursaries are available in the future.

If your business or organization is interested in sponsoring a bursary for a deserving youth, please contact Leslie McLean, Manager – Signature Programs and Events  

How to apply for a Bursary

Contact Leslie McLean, Manager – Signature Programs and Events

Story of Success

Dear DCAF:   

There is a certain feeling you get when someone you have no idea existed, steps up and blesses you with the opportunity to help change lives for the better. You could say I had that ten-fold when I found out I was receiving the bursary provided by DCAF. It feels as if you have believed in me my whole life, which feels amazing. 

I cannot begin to express to you how grateful I am for receiving this and I cannot wait to put it into use and begin to empower kids of all ages. I would like to formally thank you for blessing me with this bursary as it not only will help fuel my college studies, but it will allow me to take some of the financial burden away and really let me focus on what I need to do to help change lives for the better. Thank you again for such a beautiful act of generosity, selflessness and love.


DCAF Recipient

It is because of generous supporters of the Post-Secondary Bursary Program that No Child Shall Be Left Behind.

Durham Children's Aid Foundation is committed to bringing people and financial resources together to improve the quality of life for children and youth, and to help them reach their full potential.

Support Our Children

By supporting the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation (DCAF) you can help turn hope into reality, challenge into triumph and adversity into opportunity for over 2500 children, youth and their families.

There are many ways you can help to make a profound impact and change the life of a child. Your gift will help to ensure that No Child Shall Be Left Behind.

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We Want to Thank Our Supporters

Durham Children’s Aid Foundations is pleased to acknowledge the commitment and ongoing support of our Innovators, Champions, Partners, Mentors and Donors who help to ensure that No Child Shall Be Left Behind.