Support Seneca

For the majority of Seneca students, paying for tuition, rent, groceries and other living expenses can be a pretty big burden — one that has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on my studies, my employment and my general well-being,” explains Stephen Corradino, COVID-19 Relief Bursary recipient. “I live in a household where everyone must share their resources. We share the costs of our family's expenses and I felt I wasn't pulling my weight anymore because I wasn't able to work the same amount of hours. It was a strain on my family.”

A study of all Seneca students conducted in October 2020 found that 79 per cent of students are experiencing financial hardship and more than 25 per cent have experienced food insecurity.

Understanding this new reality, the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) and the Ontario Opticians Association (OOA) sought to ease these struggles. With their generous gifts, five students in Seneca’s Opticianry diploma program will receive a $1,000 award.

“The education and training of student opticians is key for the future of our profession,” says Martin Lebeau, Deputy Executive Director of OOA. “One of the main goals of the Ontario Opticians Association is to continue encouraging and supporting the next generation of opticians."

According to Statistics Canada, students are very concerned about using up their savings, their ability to pay tuition, and taking on more debt. What’s more, the employment rate of young Canadians dropped from 58 per cent in February 2020 to just over 38 per cent in April. While the rate has since increased, it is still below what it used to be and reflects only an increase in part-time work; full-time work has continued to fall.

Establishing a financial aid award like that of OAC and OOA is one of the best ways to help remove barriers for students, especially during this difficult time.

“Seneca has a long history of producing excellent opticians,” says Robert Dalton, Executive Director of the Opticians Association of Canada. “Supporting these future opticians is the history of the Opticians Association of Canada. We are pleased to offer these bursaries to Seneca students.”


To learn more about how you can support Seneca Opticianry students, contact advancement@senecacollege.ca.