Mel Boutilier increases effort to fight poverty through education

Mel Boutilier, the man who founded the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank, is looking to get more students out of poverty through higher education.

He started the Metro Care and Share Society in 2015 and has so far sent nine students to post-secondary education its Halifax Scholarship Program, but now he wants to do more.

The society launched a major fundraiser on GoFundMe on Friday with the aim of raising at least $100,000 to help more students.

"I met numbers of families, especially in the inner city, that had students that are working away, getting through high school and after high school they didn't have any way way of getting them into university, or into training," said Boutilier told CBC Nova Scotia News at 6 on Friday,

"It costs about $13,000 per student each year. We not only cover their tuition, but we cover their books and other expenses that they have," he said.


Nine students are in the program and more students have applied, he said.

"My pitch is if you want to feel good about helping other people, helping young people to have a good future, get involved and donate to the cause," he said.

Kirby Williams, a Saint Mary's University student who received a scholarship from the society, said it's made a difference for him. He said he's thankful to get the education without going into debt.

"It's a blessing, like this is an absolute dream of mine to get a university degree," Williams said.

Williams is studying commerce with the goal of working in the banking industry. He'd like to run his own business eventually or get into investment banking.

"I have a major in finance. I like numbers so it's definitely going to be good to get in the banking industry," he said.


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