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Awards pave way for foster children’s education

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(BELLEVILLE, Ont. 06/23/11) Peter Snyder received recognition for receiving the Clark Bursary at the Children's Aid Society's annual meeting Thursdat night. Photo by Jennifer Bowman

By Jennifer Bowman

Several foster children in the Hastings Children’s Aid Society are one step closer to living their dreams.

Peter Snyder and Lisa Charity, both in foster care under the Hastings Children’s Aid Society, were recognized for provincial awards they received in Toronto last week. They were honoured in Belleville Thursday night at the annual general meeting of the Hastings Children Aids Society.

Snyder, a 17-year-old graduate from St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Belleville, received the $3,000 Clark Bursary. He wants to become a child advocacy lawyer.

Snyder said he’s always been interested in law. But seeing kids in foster care has influenced him to get into child advocacy. Living in different foster homes and seeing the children there has made him want to reach out and help them.

“I could be a significant person in their life to help them out and get what they want,” he said.

To be eligible for the Clark bursary, students must be in the care of the Children’s Aid Society, prove they have financial need, show academic achievement and career goals, provide their personal story including challenges and things they’ve overcome, and be involved in volunteer work. The award is open for foster children throughout Ontario. Snyder will be eligible for the $3000 bursary for up to three years.

Snyder has been in foster care for five years. He will be attending Georgian College in Barrie in the fall for paralegal studies. After that, he wants to go to university to accomplish his dream of becoming a child advocacy lawyer.

It’s a miracle, he said. Now that the bursary is paying for his college he can start saving toward university.

Lisa Charity received a $1,000 Clark Award.

“It is my dream to become a doctor and help the many people who go without health care each year,” she said. “This award will allow me to come closer to achieving that dream.”

Charity graduated high school and has worked at a local marina to help fund her university education. She will be attending Lakehead University at the Orillia campus in the fall where she’ll be taking the honours bachelor of arts and science program.

Four other foster children were also awarded for various achievements, but cannot be named because of privacy requests by the CAS.

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