Skills Training & Employment

Bootstraps refers to the impossible action of “pulling oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps”.

In today’s economy, most young people get their first few jobs through connections.    These connections consist of relatives, teachers, coaches, friends, and parents of friends. Young people from foster care can come from families and social networks which are unable to provide entry to employment. As a result youth have a hard time finding work.

Bootstraps includes supportive employers, skills development partners, and wage subsidy opportunities for youth. Youth are provided with individualized employment supports, job placements and mentorship prospects. As a result, these supports allow youth to journey forward towards sustainable employment.

In addition, Bootstraps provides support from Aunt Leah’s youth services, such as:

SEFFY (Supporting Education for Foster Youth), The Link, Support Link & Dan’s Legacy.

Bootstraps aims to remove barriers to employment, enable youth in and from care to explore, and advance skills to find sustainable jobs. Above all, Bootstraps takes a holistic approach to addressing barriers to employment youth may face, while also coaching in critical employability skills.

Participants will devise Individual Employment Plans with an employment specialist. While each will have distinct needs, each participant will have the opportunity to receive employment assistance services, skills training, financial supports, and employment experience.


What’s Provided

Eligible STE participants will have access to:

  • Training incentives.
  • Resume building & job search.
  • Transportation costs.
  • Refurbished laptops to complete training.
  • Weekly meals during training sessions.
  • Disability supports.
  • Employment training with Aunt Leah’s social enterprises in warehouse and retail industries.
  • Access to free onsite clinical counselling with Dan’s Legacy.
  • Non-discriminatory LGBTQ2 nurse practitioner and physical health services.
  • Education supports, including academic upgrading and ABE tutoring.
  • Essential Skills one on one, workshops and group based training.
  • Access to training certificates for employment, including First-Aid, WHMIS, Food Safe, and World Host.
  • Soft skills training, including interpersonal skills, communications, teamwork, problem solving and time management.
  • Career skills training, including but not limited to: forklift training, hairdressing, driver license training.

For Employers:

  • Wage subsidies.
  • Direct supports with Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps staff.
  • Post job placement support.


  • Between the ages of 17-29 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection.
  • A Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or protected person (under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C 2001, C. 27).
  • Living in British Columbia.
  • Not a full-time student (not enrolled in high school or in post-secondary training).
  • Not actively participating in another provincially or federally funded labour market program.

Are you looking for a different employment service? Are you unsure if you are eligible for this program? You can still access employment services with Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps: Employing Youth from Care Program


Contact the Bootstraps Coordinator

For more information, or to set up an appointment please contact Bootstraps Coordinator Christina Grammenos at,

or P: 604-525-1204 Ext. 250 / C: 778-228-9143

Bootstraps Employer Contact

For more information on how your organization can get involved, please contact Aunt Leah’s

Bootstraps Coordinator Christina Grammenos directly at

or P: 604-525-1204 Ext. 250 / C: 778-228-9143

This program is generously supported by

"Bootstraps STE Funder - Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement Logo"