ITI Foundation Supports Program to Help Foster Kids Stay in School
Kids in foster care grow up under very challenging circumstances, and school is often where they get the chance to expand their horizons, take control of their future, and improve their lives. By supporting Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ’s School Perseverance Program, the ITI Foundation wants to give them the tools to succeed and take one more step towards breaking down inequalities in access to computer equipment.
According to a study by CREVAJ, only 25% of youth in foster care have a high school diploma by the age of 19. Youth in foster care have very limited means and often feel stigmatized, vulnerable, and devalued and worry about their academic future.
That’s why the ITI Foundation has donated 30 IT gift boxes, each containing a laptop, mouse, keyboard, and headset, to help support 30 of these young people as they embark on their post-secondary education. ITI’s partner, Targus, rounded out the donation with a gift of 30 carry bags. The ITI Foundation also supports the DPJ Youth Foundation (Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ) by providing computer advisory services.
Going beyond IT support
With this new, powerful equipment, the 30 young recipients are not only better equipped to succeed, they also feel like someone believes in them. For many, it’s the first big material gift they’ve received in their lives.
Having a personal computer means they can study and do their homework without having to use a shared computer in their home or foster home, at school, or at the library, for example. They feel like other students. That reduces their anxiety and is also a step towards equal opportunity.
Many of our young people feel different. They have a hard time believing they will succeed and sometimes think they don’t have all the skills and tools to make it in life. Some of them tell us they feel embarrassed to say that they don’t have a computer. Being given a laptop makes them feel special. They’re grateful that people are thinking about them and care enough to give them a powerful computer for free.
The computer isn’t just useful for doing research and homework. It makes it easy for the students to communicate with teachers and other students, which means they’re more likely to do so. Case workers are also seeing recipients become more motivated and engaged with their studies. Further benefits include fostering their independence, particularly as a powerful tool for job searches.
The start of something good
No sooner had the first initiative materialized than the two foundations were already discussing other ways to support young Quebecers facing technological inequalities—a shared concern.
We’re lucky to have partners like the ITI Foundation. Thanks to you, young people are getting the tools they need to stay in school and pursue their studies.
The world we live in is increasingly technology reliant, which unfortunately puts some young people at a real material disadvantage. On behalf of ITI, I’m proud to be able to provide computer equipment for 30 students from the foster care system. They’re more than just computers, really—they’re the keys to a slightly fairer academic future. They’re our modest contribution to their success.
About Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ
The DPJ Youth Foundation aims to transform how young people in the foster system envision their future, by giving them the courage and confidence to believe in a wider realm of possibilities. With its School Perseverance Program, la Fonthe Foundation supports these young people from elementary school onward to ensure that they have everything they need to succeed. To learn more, visit fondationjeunesdpj.ca.
About the ITI Foundation
The ITI Foundation focuses on providing Quebec youth with better access to technology to support their learning and ignite their passion for IT. Through partnerships with public and community organizations, the Foundation gives time, equipment, and expertise to deliver technology where it is needed most. Working with ITI’s dedicated teams, the Foundation does more than provide equipment—it helps community players bring their IT initiatives to life, from start to finish. By supporting innovative, engaging, long-term community projects, the ITI Foundation works to help close the gap between young people who have access to IT and those who do not. To learn more, visit iti.ca/iti-foundation.
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