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Applying to become an EKO Scholar: FAQs

The EKO Scholarship Program empowers kids with disabilities with awards of $2,500 to support scholars pursuing their education goals and career dreams. The program is available to youth who have benefited from services and supports offered by an EKO member organization.

Six awards are available this year. Canadian First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth are eligible for any of the six awards, including the EKO Scholarship for Indigenous students.

Applications for the 2022 EKO Scholarship are now closed. Please check in January 2023 for information and dates for the 2023 EKO Scholarship.

Do you have any questions about the scholarship or the application? Ask us.

Am I Eligible to be an EKO Scholar?

You can apply for the Empowered Kids Ontario Scholarship if you’ve received services from one of Empowered Kids Ontario member organizations.

You must be nearing completion or have completed your secondary education and will enroll/continue enrollment in the next academic year in an accredited certificate or degree-granting program from a:

  • college, university or Indigenous Institute
  • continuing education program
  • traditional knowledge program
  • vocational-technical school or arts training program

You must be a:

  • Canadian citizen
  • Canadian First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth are eligible for any of the six awards, including the EKO Scholarship for Indigenous students
  • Permanent resident/landed immigrant
  • Convention refugee
  • Protected person living in Canada, as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

If you’ve applied before you are invited to apply again this year. Those who have already been named an EKO Scholar are no longer eligible.

What Types of Programs Are Eligible?

You must be entering or studying an accredited program in a college, university, Indigenous institute, or career training/vocational institute. In-person, online, or hybrid programs are all eligible.

Scholarship Selection Criteria

Your application must be completed in full to be considered, and must include all supporting documents. This includes two letters of recommendation from someone who knows you well, and a letter from the EKO member agency where you received services confirming that you were a client.


All materials must be submitted by the application deadline.


The Selection Committee considers each applicant’s interest in the scholarship, educational and personal goals when making their selections.


All applications are carefully reviewed and considered by the Selection Committee and the EKO Board of Directors. You’ll be notified shortly after the final decision is made.

What Do I Need to Apply?

In order to apply for the EKO Scholarship, you’ll need to submit:

  • A completed EKO Scholarship application
  • A letter from the EKO member verifying you’ve received services
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who know you well that include:
    • How the supporter knows you
    • Why the supporter believes you deserve the EKO Scholarship
    • How the scholarship will benefit you
  • Applicants are asked to tell us about themselves. An original essay up to 750-words OR a creative project (e.g. video, short story, visual artwork, music composition, recorded performance) that will help us get to know you. For instance, you can tell us about someone who has inspired you (this can be someone you know, a historical figure, or a fictional character). You might describe your strengths, how you became interested in the field of study you want to pursue, or discuss the impact that having this scholarship would have on your life. We simply want to learn about you!


The essay or creative work should address one of the following topics:

1. Tell us about how you have:

  • Assisted others. This could be as a student in the classroom, as a school or community volunteer, as a mentor, or as a family member
  • Be sure to give us a few examples!

OR

2. Tell us about people or events that inspire you. You can share experiences that involve your friends, or mentors, history, current events, works of art (books, film, etc.). Tell us why these people or these events inspired you, and how you practice or apply lessons learned from these individuals or experiences.

OR

3. Share some examples of what inspired / motivated you to enter the program of your choice and what you will do with this learning.

You’re also encouraged to provide any other information you think would be helpful for the Selection Committee to make their decision.

Not sure your application is complete? Our handy checklist has you covered!

When Should I Apply?

Applications for the 2022/23 academic year are now closed. Please check these pages in January 2023 for information about the 2023 EKO Scholarship Program.

Where Do I Apply?

Visit our application page to apply now!

When Will I Know If I’m Selected As An EKO Scholar?

EKO Scholars will be announced September 12, 2022.

How Many Awards Are There?

There is a total of six (6) EKO scholarship awards available, one of which is an award specifically for Canadian First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth. Five awards are open to all applicants, including those who self-identify as Canadian First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

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