© Courtesy of The Construction Foundation of British Columbia
Building foundations for empowered futures
Getting your driver’s licence is an exciting milestone in a young person’s life, providing new freedoms and a sense of self-reliance. For the fortunate, who have the necessary supports in place, it is a rewarding rite of passage on the road to adulthood.
But what happens when a young person does not have the resources or support to learn, practice and gain the technical skills required to pass their driver’s test?
The Construction Foundation’s SHIFT Driver Training Fund aims to reduce barriers for youth looking to successfully train for and obtain their driver’s licence. The SHIFT Fund is pleased to offer Driver’s Licence training grants for youth in care, who have transitioned from care or are classified as at risk, allowing youth to gain access to ICBC-recognized driver training. Since its launch, the Fund has awarded over $100,000 in grants to support young people as they begin to prepare for life after school.
A., a recent SHIFT Driver Training Fund recipient, had been in care since the age of 16 and described the driver training grant as life-changing. A. spoke about the excitement of having an instructor with her to celebrate passing her novice test on the first try. “She told me she was proud of me,” shared A. “I didn’t realize how rewarding this experience would be for me.”
The benefit of a driver’s licence to a young person who only has themselves to rely on can be immense. Having a driver’s license means having the independence to get around and do what they need to do without depending on anyone else, and that feeling is transformative. From tasks as small as grocery shopping to getting to and from work, having a licence to drive can significantly impact someone’s life.
In addition, safety is a key concern for a young person. Finding a trustworthy adult to provide effective driving lessons can be difficult if you are on your own. On top of that, being able to drive instead of relying on public transit, rides from friends or coworkers, or walking, can provide a feeling of safety and self-reliance. As a young woman living alone, A. echoed this, sharing that being able to drive herself home after a shift at work has dramatically impacted her sense of personal safety.
A driver’s licence provides confidence and freedom, independence, and safety. For young people who are on their own, a driver’s licence can open new doors to becoming self-sufficient, providing for themselves when needed.
Our SHIFT Driver Training Fund is actively raising funds to support more young people across British Columbia. We invite everyone to consider adding the SHIFT Driver Training Fund to their giving lists this year to help us reduce barriers and connect youth at risk with the tools and training needed to succeed in life.
The Construction Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that helps new entrants and underserved segments of the workforce build solid foundations for empowered futures.