Funding Your Family's Post-Secondary Education

VISION

 

All Canadians, regardless of age, income or status will be able to reach their potential through post-secondary education.

         

Mission

 

         Closing the poverty gap and inequality in education access by reducing funding barriers.

Canadian GRADS will be the #1 choice for information, guidance and related services for Canadian parents, students, lifelong learners, educators and financial service providers for funding one’s post-secondary education.  We will reduce funding barriers toi improve access to higher learning. Clients will be able to easily access all the latest information they need on this subject, when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. Since much of the information changes regularly, Canadian GRADS will provide the guidance and resources for clients to monitor and update their education funding plans,

         

Founder's Backgrounde

 

 

Through higher education, I escaped poverty and a dysfunctional family to exceed many personal and career goals. I want to share my wisdom to help others achieve their dreams. This is my story.

 

I retired in 2018 after a diverse 44 year professional career. During that span I held 25 different jobs covering a wide spectrum of careers – municipal recreation, environmental advocacy, facilities and real estate management, and finally management consulting. I’ve lived in five Canadian cities, moved twenty times, and attended ten different institutions of learning. I’ve had my share of success, but come from a humble background.

 

Born in rural Ontario, by the age of six, I was a clog in the economic unit known as the family farm. We were dirt poor, and our farm life was anything but idyllic. Raising livestock meant forking and shoveling feed and shit, 365 days a year!  It was hard work, and extra stressful since my Dad suffered from WWII PTSD. By grade 3, I knew education was my ticket to a better way of life in the future. Straight A’s became my norm.

 

I funded my first degree, 1970-1974 from work savings – summer and part-time jobs, a small scholarship and government grants. My plan was to be a math teacher, but after one year, I switched universities from U of Toronto to U of Ottawa to study Recreation. After working full-time for a while, I obtained my Master’s in Environmental Design in 1978-80, funded by savings and my spouse’s wages. Over my career, my employers paid for over 1,000 hours of professional development courses, allowing me to stay current. This included PC-based financial analysis and certifications in Facility Management, Urban Planning, Facilitation and Adult Education.

 

On the home front, after our son Reilly was born in 1984, we established a self-directed family Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), In 1987,  we added our baby daughter, Kautlin to the plan. Both children went to university,  finishing debt free. For much of this time period, interest rates were very high and I actively selected and managed the investments inside the plan., sticking to low risk, low volatity instruments.  Instead of keeping the principal contributed to their RESP, we gifted it to them., to help them get established . Currently, we're contributing to our grandchildren's RESP's to help them realize their dreams of become a lawyer, a scientist and a doctor. We have always viewed these RESP's as a timely and tax efficient way to transfer wealth from our generation to the next ones!

 

Snce 1984, as a side hustle, I researched options to fund post-secondary education, and compiled my findings into a manual. My first draft contained 37 methods. Planning to publish the manual in 1994,  I found some material was outdated, due to changing legislation, markets,  and industry players. So sharing this information reamined on the back burner, deferred until retirement. But I never stopped researching, and the content  expanded to 50 methods.

 

 In September of 2020, I moved this project from the back to the front burner. Early in 2021, I enrolled with Start-up Edmonton for training and coaching on lean start-ups. I am committed to rigorously following their guidance, which includes this web site and pre-launch tests, to clearly understand what potential customers (you) want.