Transformative and Life-Changing
In today’s world and technology-driven economy, it is less likely that boys graduating high school with no post-secondary education plan will fulfill their human potential – artists, musicians, and boys stepping into family businesses nothwithstanding of course. Our goal is to start engaging boys in thinking about and planning for post-secondary attendance, from as early as middle school years, so that they graduate with a solid and flexible plan for qualifying and funding their post-secondary years.
After years of working with boys, we have identified several primary streams of interest and focus for BCN members – namely trades, business, computer science and digital media, mechanics (auto, marine and aircraft), culinary arts, and policing. There are exceptions of course, but we have found that most BCN boys are quite specific about what exactly they wish to do to earn a living, and they are less inclined than general school populations, to choose general studies or liberal arts.
To that end, we have forged a meaningful partnership with BCIT, affording qualifying BCN boys the opportunity to attend the world-class institution on scholarship. To date, 38 BCN boys have gone through the program – enrolled in trades primarily, but also business, computer science, robotics, and Auto CADD. If needed, BCN will underwrite books, computer suite, trade equipment, etc. To qualify or scholarship, boys must be committed BCN members, and participate fully and authentically in their weekly chapter meetings and/or curriculum. Entrance qualifications must be met, but allowances are made for boys needing to top-up or otherwise improve their transcript after high school graduation, or to take some gap time to work or mature. BCIT graduates enjoy +95% employment rate on graduation. We are extremely grateful to BCIT for their commitment to BCN and to our remarkable boys.
Just this year, BCIT added a provision to allow boys still in high school to attend single courses during evenings, weekends, holidays, to get a feel for their skillset and tolerance. The minimum age for attendance is 16. Also relatively new, is the BCIT/BCN Trades Sampler, which encourages boys interested in trades, to sample a little bit of each, before deciding which course of study to pursue.
We have a unique new opportunity, through one of our core funders, Kirmac Collision and Auto Glass, to send boys to their brand new Kirmac University in Coquitlam. Qualifying boys can learn all aspects of the industry, earn an apprentice income while earning their ticket, and if they graduate successfully, could qualify for a well-paid job within the Kirmac family of companies.
Boys wishing to attend culinary school and/or apprentice with well-known working chefs/mentors, can participate in BCN’s culinary program that places qualifying boys with work experience and mentorship, and assistance with culinary school tuition if needed.
Boys wishing to work in policing can apply for funding assistance, and receive mentorship from BCN mentors working in or retired from the VPD and RCMP.
Boys passionate about music can apply to participate in one of two music industry programs. We are in year three of partnering with the Face of Today Foundation’s ‘Vault Studio’, where a handful of boys meet all day every Saturday, working together to write, compose, perform and record original music.
We have a close relationship with UBC, and boys wishing to attend can receive one-on-one academic counselling and advice, and also apply for funding assistance.
We are currently expanding our scholarship program to include other universities, colleges and academies across the province.
"The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves."
– Steven Spielberg