How Student Support Grants Help HWDSB Students

Posted on Monday, May 08, 2023


This past year, Hamilton Foundation for Student Success (HFSS) has seen an alarming increase in Student Support Grants, which provide financial assistance to HWDSB students for school-related expenses and basic personal needs. The increase in requests for Grants shows that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt by many HWDSB students and their families – parent and student job loss, increased housing and food costs, and uncertainty regarding their post-secondary future is having an impact on students’ wellbeing.

Grants may seem small on the surface, but they do so much more than providing financial relief. On top of helping students achieve their academic goals, Student Support Grants greatly contribute to student mental health and well-being, helping them achieve success in other areas of life.

“This winter, the Foundation became aware of a student refugee from Syria, who escaped to Turkey before traveling to Canada,” said Amy Leaming Cote, Executive Director of HFSS. “Staff at this student’s school noticed his attendance was significantly lower than it was in the fall. After a conversation with his family, the staff realized he had a 2-kilometre walk to school, and did not have the appropriate outerwear to keep him warm,” she said.

“A Student Support Grant was then used to purchase the student a proper winter coat and boots. Not only did this help him arrive at school warm, dry and ready to learn, but his presence at school opened the door to so many other opportunities including access to a nutrition program, a school counsellor and English language support.”

“This is only one example of how Student Support Grants support our youth on so many more levels than academics. Something as small as a winter coat and boots transformed this student’s school experience, helping him access different resources and achieve success,” said Amy.

To learn more about Student Support Grants, please click here.