December 1, 2023
The Empowered Kids Ontario Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for the 2024/25 academic year. As much as $15,000 in scholarships is available to support post-secondary students who are currently or have been a client of an EKO general member organization.
The EKO Scholarship Program empowers kids with disabilities and developmental differences with awards to help them pursue their education goals and career dreams. Six awards are available this year. First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth are eligible for any of these awards, including the EKO Scholarship for Indigenous students.
“When it comes to kids with disabilities and developmental differences living their best lives, we don’t want anything to get in the way,” says Empowered Kids Ontario Chair Tina Langlois. “That’s why we’re proud to offer the EKO Scholarship to Ontario youth who will be enrolling in accredited college, university, Indigenous institute, and career education programs.”
Misconceptions about people with disabilities cause organizations to miss out on productive, loyal, and reliable talent according to Canada Research Chair and McMaster University DeGroote School of Business Professor of Organizational Behaviour Catherine Connelly. A Journal of Business and Psychology study co-authored by Connelly says the employment rate among Canadian working-age adults with a disability is 49 per cent, compared to 79 per cent for those without a disability.
“For almost 15 years, the EKO Scholarship program has supported Ontario youth pursuing their education and career goals, elevating social consciousness for the world’s largest minority: people with disabilities,” says Jennifer Churchill, EKO CEO.
EKO Scholars are pursuing studies and careers in law, education, engineering, science, literature, technology, medicine, and the health sciences, performing arts, industrial design, and much more.
Applicants are asked to submit a creative project or essay describing why the scholarship is meaningful to them, two letters of recommendation, and a letter from an EKO member verifying they received services from that organization.
The application deadline for the 2024/2025 academic year is April 30, 2024. All eligible applications will be reviewed in May and recipients will be announced in September 2024.
Find out more about the EKO Scholarship program and how to apply.
December 1, 2023 Applications Open
April 30, 2024 Application Deadline
May 2024 Recipients Selected
September 2024 EKO Announces 2024 EKO Scholars
 The Participation of People with Disabilities in the Workplace Across the Employment Cycle: Employer Concerns and Research Evidence: Bonaccio, Connelly, Gellanty, Jetha, Martin Ginis, 22 January 2019.