The Ken Spencer family strongly believes that education is the key to a better future and that innovation is the key to solving social challenges. The SpencerCreo Impact Award was created to help youth who face barriers to education because of poverty, trauma, intergenerational trauma, substance use, or homelessness and who need support to create a brighter future for themselves.

The award provides funding based on demonstrated financial need for students enrolled fulltime in a one- or two-year program. Eligible costs include tuition, monthly living expenses, and organizational support to partner agencies. Youth who are eligible for, or are receiving, tuition waivers are welcome to apply for support with living expenses. Youth who have completed the first year of a two-year program are also welcome to apply.

The SpencerCreo Foundation works in partnership with Family Services of Greater Vancouver to administer the funding and with social service agencies who sponsor the youth with tangible, reliable support while they complete their program.

Partner agencies must submit the application on behalf of a current client and must make a commitment to provide ongoing support to the student for the duration of the funding period. 


Partner agencies are welcome to submit applications for youth who meet the following criteria:

  • Are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Have a demonstrated financial need
  • Are enrolled full-time in a one- or two-year program that will lead directly to employment upon graduation
  • Are a client of one of SpencerCreo’s partner agencies:
    • Family Services of Greater Vancouver
    • Directions Youth Services
    • Aunt Leah’s Place
    • Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC
    • Pacific Community Resources Society
  • Have a commitment from the partner agency to support the student for the duration of the funding period and provide monthly updates. Financial compensation is available to agencies for support hours.

The priority population for this funding is youth with demonstrated barriers to education who are in enrolled in programs that have a positive career outlook and will provide a living wage. Preference for applications from youth who have met with an academic advisor or career counsellor for guidance on the education required to match their career goals prior to applying.


What type of program is eligible for the Impact Award?

A 1- or 2-year diploma, certificate, or apprenticeship program offered by public post-secondary institutions like BCIT, Capilano University, Douglas College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara College, and Vancouver Community College. Preference is given to vocational programs that lead directly to employment.

Past award winner have enrolled in Health Sciences, Nursing, Medical Transcriptionist, and Counselling Skills programs.

How much is the Impact Award?

The intent of the award is to ensure that students have appropriate financial support to complete their programs, and as such the amount awarded is based on the individual applicant’s financial needs and varies from student to student. The application must provide an accurate and detailed demonstration of the student’s income, expenses, and school fees for the committee to determine how much support is needed for each applicant and will determine how many awards are available each year. 

Eligible expenses include tuition, monthly living support, and organizational support for partner agencies.

How many awards are given out each year?

The number of awards each year varies depending on ongoing commitments to students in two-year programs and the financial needs of qualified applicants. Typically, 3-6 awards are granted each fall, and when funds are available, there may also be a spring intake.

What are the responsibilities for partner agencies?

By submitting an application on behalf of a client, the partner agency agrees to have a social worker or youth worker assigned to support the student for the duration of the SpencerCreo funding and to provide a monthly progress report. The support workers also manage all communication between the students and FSGV/SpencerCreo.

We ask that support workers notify FSGV of any changes to the student’s course load. Funding is available for students taking a full course load that meets their program requirements; switching to part-time may impact the amount of funding provided, depending on circumstance. 

What are the students’ responsibilities?

The students’ responsibilities are to maintain contact with their support worker for the duration of the funding, provide monthly updates on their progress including any changes to their financial needs or enrollment to be shared with the committee, and ensure their tuition costs are provided to SpencerCreo in a timely manner, if they are receiving tuition support.

By submitting an application, the student also agrees to provide SpencerCreo with a follow-up interview 3 to 6 months after they graduate and provide feedback. 

How are the funds distributed?

For students who are receiving tuition support, FSGV will arrange to pay tuition directly to the school. Monthly living support is deposited directly to the student. For partner agencies who have requested funds for the support worker, FSGV requires you to submit an invoice monthly or quarterly.

More Resources for Financial Aid

Each institution or program will have a Financial Aid Office and will be able to advise additional funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, scholarships, and emergency funding.

Federal Student Grants

FSGV’s Financial Empowerment program offers free, confidential 1:1 support with budgeting, saving, RESP’s, and support determining eligibility for government benefits.