About Us

What is the Merit Award Bursary Program?

The Merit Award Bursary Program provides bursaries to senior high school students as an incentive to stay in school, recognizing those who demonstrate a commitment to their school work, extra curricular activities and communities.

The Merit Award Bursary Program was started in 1996 by a group of Toronto residents. They felt it was important to support and encourage high school students to stay in school. The late Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada was the first Honourary Chair of the Program, which is administered entirely by volunteers.

The first bursaries were awarded to 20 high school students in the former City of York in the Fall of 1996. The Program was expanded to include the former Borough of East York in 1997. In the most recent round of awards [Spring, 2016], the Merit Award Bursary Program awarded 152 bursaries to students at 48 specified secondary schools across Toronto.

Our Mandate

To reward commitment to academic studies, extracurricular activities and the community.
How do we do that?

  • By offering $500, $750 or $2000 bursaries to Merit Award recipients
  • By expanding our reach to include 46 Toronto schools and 19 Alternative sites, as permitted by funding
  • By publicly recognizing an individual’s achievements honored at the student’s end of year ceremony and at the Annual Merit Award Ceremony

Who is eligible?

  • Students in both Grade 11 and 12 from participating schools are eligible to apply who are enrolling in either grade 12 or a post secondary institution in the following year.
  • Awards are granted to students who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to school work, extracurricular and community activities. While good grades are important, the awards are not based on grades alone.

Our Vision

To be a leading contributor of recognition and financial awards to senior secondary schoold students in high needs Ontario schools, by providing:

  • Incentives to youth of all abilities to pursue advancement through education;
  • Incentives to youth to contribute to their community; and
  • A motivational tool for educators and parents to encourage kids to pursue education