Indspire: Inspiring Indigenous Youth to Reach Their Potential
In their final year of high school, many Canadian students anticipate embarking on a long-awaited university or college career to experience the next milestone of their lives. Parents are often more than supportive in helping their children begin this journey, and educators are elated to see the fruition of their students’ potential. Students themselves are eager for new adventures. Yet for Indigenous youth, this time can be tense and filled with more anxiety than celebration. The #1 barrier for them is economic – not having the financial resources to pursue a post-secondary education. So, what’s the solution for an ambitious Indigenous millennial who struggles between two vastly different cultures and wants to reach their academic goals?
Indspire empowers Indigenous youth in Canada to achieve post-secondary education through bursaries and scholarships. It believes that with the right resources Indigenous people are able to reach their highest potential. When speaking of its strategy to do this, Development Officer Charlene de Vogel says, “Our vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in Indigenous people so they will achieve their highest potential.”
Indspire leads numerous initiatives throughout Canada, including its program called Building Brighter Futures (BBF). BBF grants bursaries, scholarships and awards to Indigenous students to access post-secondary education. Since 2004, Indspire has supported just under 28,000 Indigenous students with financial bursaries to pursue post-secondary education (PSE). Its grad survey results show that 96% of the students supported graduate. More than 42% of those graduates are now employed and 53% are pursuing a second degree or post-graduate studies.1 This success demonstrates that Indspire’s work through the BBF program and other initiatives is impressive, impactful and most importantly, helpful for Indigenous youth.
As Indspire continues to grow, it looks toward the digital space to expand its reach, train regional outreach reps to assist students in the application process and receive feedback. When asked about the role that technology plays for Indspire, de Vogel shared that “improved technologies will enable Indspire to scale our operations to serve more students who reside in the far reaches of Canada, in a timely and more efficient manner. Being able to provide more students, year after year, with post-secondary funding will make a remarkable difference in bridging the gap in Indigenous education.”
Technology is a powerful tool in providing access to funding for Indigenous students. Gift the Code’s solutions will help streamline Indspire’s initiatives to reach more youth. To help Indspire support more Indigenous students, sign up for Gift the Code today!
Interested to learn more about the other charities? Check out their charity pages!