In our community

Helping Students

What the
Program does

The Community Support for Students Program (CSSP) is about hope and belief and trust.

Many are facing financial challenges. 

For those of us who are in a position to help, it’s easy to think “well, I can’t fix the world’s problems”. But the fact is that every act of kindness and generosity, however small, helps to make the world a better place. And where better to start with acts of kindness and generosity than with the young people who are our hope for the future.

This is where the Community Support for Students Program comes in – it extends a helping hand to students in Toronto who are working hard to complete high school and at the same time are trying to cope with financial challenges. But the program is about more than just financial help. It is about believing in students who have shown a commitment to their high school studies and a willingness to put that commitment into action through hard work.

These students may have never had a bank account of their own. Most have never been trusted with money of their own. The program shows these students that others, including people from their own community, believe in them and support them.  They learn about money first hand.

Not only does the program help the students finish high school: it builds their hope for the future.

How It Works

The Compass Award is $1000,  with $100 monthly from September to June directly deposited to the recipient’s bank account.

The recipient is a high school student in Toronto who is hard-working and facing financial difficulties; chosen by the school Principal and/or Guidance Counsellor(s).

The award winner is anonymous although they may chose to tell anyone they like.  There are no strings attached to the money and they can spend (or save) the money as they choose.  Financial literacy is learned through their choices.

In May, each recipient writes a letter telling generally how they used the money and how the experience impacted them.

How It Started

Fred Cass and Tracy Keenan were concerned about students who face financial difficulties, without available sources of support, prior to the completion of high school.

There was an article in the Globe and Mail about the Help Our Students (HOST) program in Ottawa that was doing just that.

Fred wrote a letter to Richard Lussier, the Founder of that program and the journey started. 

Richard’s program awards 2 students at every Ottawa High School with $100 from September-June, a total of 132 schools.

Richard is on our Board of Directors and is a valued advisor to CSSP.

Want to Discuss
the Program?

We would love to hear from you…