The Bill 7 Award is a scholarship for individuals with demonstrated financial need after accessing available public financial supports, who are pursuing their first post-secondary program of study. The Bill 7 Award Trust was established in 1987 to provide post-secondary education scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited or queer (LGBTQ) students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing a first degree, diploma or certification in any Ontario post-secondary institution. The Bill 7 Award is named after the 1986 Ontario legislation that extended the protection of the Human Rights Code to lesbians and gays. The Trust was founded by six community groups, predominantly led by women: the UofT Women’s Centre, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal (now the CommunityONE Foundation), Lesbians of Colour, The Black Women’s Collective, Zami, and the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians and Gays.
Today, Bill 7 Award trustees are appointed by our two current partner organizations, Supporting Our Youth (SOY) of the Sherbourne Health Centre, and the Community One Foundation, successors to the original founding groups. Since 1987, the Bill 7 Award Trust has granted over $200,000 in scholarships to students in the queer community to help them with the cost of post-secondary education. All scholarship funds are raised through donations. We have been working hard to increase both the number and size of the available scholarships. In 2020, we were able to award 17 scholarships of $3500 each.
How to Apply
To be eligible to receive a Bill 7 Award scholarship, individuals must also meet ALL of the following three criteria:
- You are attending or accepted by a Post-Secondary Educational Institution in the Province of Ontario
- You are pursuing your FIRST post-secondary program of study
- You identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, two-spirited or queer (LGBTQ2S+)
What You Need to Submit Your Application
In addition to your application form, we require the following documents. These may be attached in .pdf, .doc or .txt format. .pdf format is preferred.
- A copy of OSAP estimate (if applicable)
- Proof of registration / acceptance from the post-secondary institution. Acceptable proof could be a copy of the confirmation of your offer of acceptance; proof of registration in the program; proof of payment of tuition; a copy of your offer of admission. If you are selected as a recipient, you must provide proof of active enrolment in your program before payment is issued.
- Reference letter from a teacher, guidance counsellor, coach, employer, community or social worker, doctor, religious leader or similar professional who can support your application. The reference letter should indicate how long and in what context the writer knows you and explain why you would be a good candidate for the Award.
- A personal statement, 250 words or fewer, detailing why you should be selected as the recipient of the Bill 7 Award. You may wish to consider how your studies or future work will contribute to the improvement of the LGBTQ community and/or provide us with any other information you feel we should know about you that will make you a good candidate, such as children, family, relationships, disabilities, experiences of discrimination, living situation, geographic context, etc.