Featured Scholarship: Triangle Program Scholarships
Established in 1995 as part of an alternative school within the (now) Toronto District School Board, the Triangle Program, Canada’s only high school classroom for LGBT students, provides a safe, equity-based environment for student who have left mainstream school or who are thinking of leaving school because of homophobia and heterosexism in mainstream school settings. It is intended to be a transitional program to assist students in developing academic and life skills necessary to move on to mainstream schools, post-secondary education, or employment.
In 2003, Friends of Community Schools established the Triangle Program Scholarship for students who have benefited from the Triangle Program and wish to pursue post-secondary endeavours. To date, a total of 23 Triangle Program Scholarships have been given out to graduating Triangle Program students.
These scholarships are important to the graduates from the Triangle Program because some of them may not have the traditional support systems that students in mainstream education have. Many of them have been abandoned by their families because of their sexual orientation and struggle just to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. But one thing they all have in common is the desire to rise above their challenges and make their lives worth something by pursuing further education or training after high school. Friends of Community Schools is proud and honoured to be a part of their success and play a small role in helping them achieve their dreams.
To be considered for a Triangle Program Scholarship, students must:
- Be recommended by a current or former school staff member; and
- Submit a plan for using the scholarship award money.
Since 2003, 18 Friends of Community Schools Scholarships have been given out. Recipients of the Friends of Community Schools Scholarships are selected based on the following criteria:
- Must have been enrolled for one or more semesters in the Triangle Program;
- Must be in their graduating year of high school or an equivalent GED or adult education program;
- Has participated in and contributed to school life;
- Has been actively involved in community service to the LGBT community;
- Has demonstrated leadership skills that benefit the school(s) and the LGBT community; and
- Discretionary reasons that recognize a student who has shown initiative, gone beyond expectations on projects, and supported classmates on a regular basis.
To learn more about the Triangle Program, please visit triangleprogram.ca.
Featured Bursary: Kathleen Wynne Triangle Program Bursary
The contribution that Kathleen Wynne has made to challenging homophobia in the education system—as a parent activist, as a School Trustee, as an MPP, as Minister of Education, and as Premier of Ontario—is profound. Kathleen played a significant part, through her early involvement in “Education Against Homophobia,” in establishing the range of initiatives to combat homophobia and heterosexism, including the Triangle Program (the secondary school alternative program for LGBT youth) in the former Toronto Board of Education. As a Trustee, her continued support for Triangle helped ensure its survival through amalgamation, the “trusteeship” period of the TDSB, and beyond. Her consistent support even extended as far as acting as MC for our Scholarship Dinner.
To that end, Friends of Community Schools is establishing the “Kathleen Wynne Triangle Program Bursary” in acknowledgement of the critical role she has played in making schools safer, more positive places for LGBT youth, parents, and educators.
This bursary will be awarded annually in June to a student enrolled in the Triangle program who intends to return to Triangle the following academic year. The student will be selected by Triangle staff. The recipient will be a student who has shown academic progress over the current year, and who has demonstrated financial need. The bursary will be on the order of $1,000 per year, and will be administered by the Triangle program staff.
For more information on the Bursary, or to make a contribution toward maintaining it, contact John Campey at 647-283-9657.