Optimist Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation Offers Post Secondary School Bursary

A $3000 Annual Bursary is available for each of the Stratford secondary schools (Stratford District Secondary School and Stratford St. Michael Catholic Secondary School). The bursaries will be advertised at each of the secondary schools, as well as on the Optimist Club of Stratford website. (www.stratfordoptimist.com)

Bursary eligibility will be evaluated based on the following criteria and weighting (%):

Optimist International’s motto is “Friend of Youth” and the organization also uses the branding statement “Bringing Out the Best in Youth, in our Communities, and in Ourselves.”

Therefore, the primary criteria for determining the winning submissions will be based on how the individual has developed leadership qualities working with children/youth in the community.

  • (25%) – An essay (800-1,000 words) on the topic: “How volunteering with children/youth in the community has changed my perspective”.
  • (30%) – How the student has shown leadership in the community – involvement in the community beyond the minimum required hours.  Preference will be given to those involved in child/youth centered volunteerism, and to individuals who have overcome adversity and are now serving as a role model.
  • (35%) – Financial need will be a major factor in determining a recipient.
  • (10%) – Submit Letters of reference from teachers, school officials, volunteer supervisors, or city councillors, summarizing student volunteer activities and achievements.
  • To be considered for this bursary students must obtain an average of at least 75% in any six Grade 12 courses, and be enrolled in a Canadian College/University/or Apprenticeship Program.


All students are encouraged to apply:

Applicants must complete the “Commencement Awards Application, including all parts of the Community Involvement and Financial needs sections, and include all of the requested evaluation criteria. Any bursary application not completed in its entirety, with all the requirements attached will be disqualified.

*Application forms are available from Stratford secondary school guidance departments.

*Applications must be submitted to the School Guidance/Social Services Office, no later than;

June 8th – Stratford District Secondary School

June 1st – Stratford St. Michael Catholic Secondary School

An independent awards committee at each school, will receive the applications and make decisions on award recipients based on the listed eligibility criteria and other considerations. The awards committee has the option to divide the award among up to 3 students at each of the schools.

Award Certificates will be presented at the commencement exercises of the specific school. Award recipients will be posted on the Optimist Club of Stratford Website (www.stratfordoptimist.com).

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