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Help Our Students Program

The Help Our Students Program provides $1,500 awards to hard-working students living in difficult financial circumstances in order to help them graduate high school. The recipients, selected by school officials, receive $150 per month from September through June directly into their RBC bank account, with 100 per cent of all donations going directly to support students. All work is done by volunteers and all administrative expenses are paid by the Board of Directors.

Each student is asked to write a letter at the end of the school year, describing how the award has impacted their lives and, generally, how they spent the funds. We know from the letters that the recipients use the money to buy food for themselves and their family, for school supplies and field trips, for Presto passes and to help with other family expenses.


  • Individual donations: 81%
  • Other charities: 15%
  • Corporate donations: 3%
  • Other: >1%

Funding priorities

In the 2022-23 year, we are providing $150 per month from September to June to at least three students in each of Ottawa’s 62 youth high schools. We aspire to be able to support at least five students in every high school and to provide them with $250 per month.

HOST student Christine Angnetsiak, graduating from Urban Aboriginal High School. Christine is from Nunavut and is the first person in her family to graduate high school. She is currently studying for her hairdressing certificate and plans to open her own shop in Nunavut.

How you can help


Despite Ottawa being a wealthy city, there are far too many students who struggle to stay in school due to their difficult financial circumstances. Supporters love that the students receive the award funds directly into their own bank account and need to learn how to plan and manage their money.

Potential donors can choose to support a particular school or a particular area of the city. The recipients’ letters clearly make our donors aware of the significant impact of their donation on the students’ lives.


We need anyone who can help us grow our donor base. At this time, the administrative work is done by the members of the Board, supported by Principals and Guidance Counsellors. As the organization grows, there will be a need for clerical, bookkeeping and communications assistance.


Donation recognition

We have some truly amazing donors. The Shenkman Foundation, for instance, has supported us for the past 10 years.

Two years ago, we received a phone call saying that we had been selected to receive a Christmas gift made possible by a generous donor. A short while later, we were handed a cheque for $30,000. The same thing happened again the following year and we received a cheque for $45,000. We can’t wait for this Christmas. These donations allow us to better plan the number of awards that we can give the following school year.


59 Callaway Court
Ottawa, Ont.
K1C 7S4

  • Year founded: 2010
  • Total revenue for last fiscal year: $276,594
  • Facebook: @hostottawa
Richard Lussier, Co-founder, President and Chair of the Board
Donald J. Stephenson, Co-founder and Vice-President











Linda Lussier
Secretary and Director

Dr. Chris Carruthers, MD

Suzanne Donnelly

David H. Hill, C.M., Q.C.

Carman Joynt, FCPA, FCA, ICD.C

Genevieve Kosavic

Peter Nicholson

Susan Prior

Mohamed Sheibani

Michael van Aanhout