A Toonie at a Time: how Ontario’s Student Trustees are supporting other Canadian Catholic students

CCSTA has a powerful new tool for its Toonies for Tuition fundraising campaign: student trustees.OSTA Student Trustees

For this academic year, the Catholic Board Council within the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association are encouraging Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools to prioritize the Toonies for Tuition program as a key fundraising initiative.

“Many student trustees were shocked to hear some provinces did not have publicly funded Catholic education and are eager to help support students across Canada,” explains Catholic Board Council Vice President Sofia Zamorano.

When student trustees were told about Toonies for Tuition, the CCSTA initiative that raises money to help offset tuition costs for families attending Catholic school in provinces with limited or no funding for Catholic education, they quickly took action.

With the help of tools and resources provided by the Catholic Board Council, student trustees mobilize their peers within their school boards.

There have been various student-led initiatives, such as board wide non-uniform days and social events.

Each year, CCSTA awards the highest contributing school board with a trophy in recognition of their efforts, but the emphasis is placed on participation, not competition.

“There is no goal in particular,” explains Ms. Zamorano. “We are encouraging participation to the best of their ability.”

Through these events, students both show solidarity with their peers across the country and also build advocacy skills.

Toonies for Tuition [is] a part of our second pillar of advocacy of the year titled, Faith in Action,” Ms. Zamorano says.

Indeed, the learning opportunities for students that arise through this type of advocacy create a sense of community and empowerment among the next generation of Catholic leaders.

“When students get behind this program, you know you’re going to witness something special,” says Julian Hanlon, CCSTA Executive Director. “We are very impressed by the commitment of young people to Catholic education.”

Their commitment to fundraising for the program shows how much student trustees value Catholic education.

“We believe it is important to support Toonies for Tuition because we are so fortunate to experience faith-based education,” notes Ms. Zamorano. “We believe from experience that the same opportunity should be given to all students across Canada.”