Deadline to apply is August 21
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the employment prospects of many Canadians. One group that has been hit hard by employer’s inability to hire is students, as the pandemic cancelled internships and plummeted summer jobs.
Many students typically use the income earned during the summer months to fund their education or living expenses, so the loss of summer income places some students in a precarious position. To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, the Government of Canada created the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to provide financial support to post-secondary students and recent high school and post-secondary graduates. Late in June the government announced another program to support Canadian students: the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG). The CSSG provides a monetary grant of $1,000 to $5,000 for hours spent volunteering.
“Canadian students are looking for ways to make a real difference in their communities,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement announcing the grant. “With these new investments, we are giving them the support and connections they need to have a positive impact during COVID-19 and gain the skills needed for future success.”
The newly instituted program has been recently mixed in a scandal including the government awarding a sole-source contract to the WE charity to administer the program. The charity withdrew from their appointed administrator role days later. The grant has not been officially cancelled.
According to the grant website, an individual is eligible if they are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or have Refugee status, and are younger than 30 as of December 31, 2020. They also must be enrolled in and attending post-secondary education during the spring/summer or fall of 2020 or have graduated from a post-secondary institution no earlier than December 2019. The eligible individual would have to accumulate volunteer hours, to a maximum of 500 hours, between June 25 and October 31 of this year to receive the grant. The grant pays $1,000 per 100 volunteer hours and is capped at $5,000 or 500 hours.
“People are more aware and want to get involved, because they see what’s going on around them,” said potential Canada Student Service Grant recipient Zoé Hould-Massicotte. “Situations like COVID-19 make us think about our place in society and who we are as individuals. We’re realizing how important it is for us to get involved and how we can make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”