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Home About SAIT News & Events At-risk youth program at SAIT gets $2M boost

At-risk youth program at SAIT gets $2M boost

Multi-million dollar gift helps students cook up amazing opportunities.

Largest gift to SAIT's School of Hospitality and Tourism will help students cook up amazing opportunities.

It's a recipe for culinary achievement for at-risk youth eager to feed their passion for cooking thanks to a partnership between SAIT and The Joyce Family Foundation.

Today, SAIT announced a $2 million gift from The Joyce Family Foundation to help continue setting students up for success. This is the first major funding announcement of SAIT's second century and the largest gift SAIT's School of Hospitality and Tourism has received to date.

With $2 million pledged from The Joyce Family Foundation to SAIT over two years, $1 million will help ensure the longevity of the Summer Cooks — Introduction to Cook Apprentice program. This program began as a pilot in 2015, and now students will continue to receive access to life-changing applied education opportunities at SAIT thanks to this investment.

The additional $1 million will be used for SAIT entrance awards — bursaries created for incoming students, to any program, who demonstrate financial hardship in their pursuit of an education at SAIT.

"We know two of the main reasons young people have difficulty finishing school are financial constraints and access to programs where they can be successful. We are pleased our partner The Joyce Family Foundation has chosen to work with SAIT to help us remove those barriers and support our youth on their path toward successful futures," says Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO.

"SAIT offers educational opportunities that will open doors to rewarding careers," says Ron Joyce, Founder. "The Joyce Family Foundation is happy to provide support so students can pursue their dreams."

Aligned with the United Way of Calgary's All In For Youth initiative, SAIT's goal is to inspire vulnerable youth who are at risk of dropping out of high school and provide them with the opportunity to complete their education by tapping into their passion for food and cooking.

SAIT's Culinary Campus offers these talented young people an organized, attractive and supportive environment along with the chance to learn from positive role models through SAIT's world-class culinary instructors.

The Summer Cooks program is already changing lives. Many of the students who spent their summers in the program at SAIT finished high school and found work in the hospitality industry.

"It's the best educational experience I've ever had," said SAIT Summer Cooks program graduate Travis Cornelius, who will attend SAIT's Professional Cooking program this fall. "All the skills I learned I applied right away."

In fact, three students from the 2015 and 2016 classes, along with Cornelius, will be entering the Professional Cooking program at SAIT in September and one student is also on track to receive his Professional Cooking diploma in October.