The challenges facing today’s high school students are numerous and diverse: bullying, social media, cliques, grades, familial pressure – the list seems to grow every day.
For many students, the high cost of transit is another large hurdle they must overcome every month. Which is why United Way, in partnership with TransLink, has been collecting donations of new, or semi-used, unregistered Compass Cards from donation kiosks in Vancouver. The value of all donated cards is then converted into transit passes, many of which are delivered to students and who otherwise would be unable to access transportation services in the Lower Mainland. Each month, the cards are distributed through United Way-funded social service agencies and programs. For many students, the cards are a life saver. Taylor is grade ten student at North Surrey Learning Centre. She talks about why it’s important for her to get to school every day.
“We’re all a family and we all care about each other,” she says. “There is no bullying. There is nothing to worry about except getting your work done. The students here help you with no matter what you need.” Without the Compass Card she receives every month, she is doubtful about how she would get to class. “My transit pass gives me the opportunity to get to school and it’s easier to get home because I do live quite a ways away. It helps me and my friends get to where we need to go and succeed in what we want to do.” Beyond helping her with her education, Taylor easily speaks to the greater impact this program has had on her and her friends’ families. “With these passes it helps save my mom money to help pay rent and get groceries. It helps my friends’ families to get groceries and other necessities they need. It absolutely helps us.” #Everypasshelps!