On June 25, the federal government launched the long-awaited Canada Student Service Grant. Announced over two months ago, the program aims to encourage students to volunteer in the fight against COVID-19.
Post-secondary students and recent graduates can earn up to $5,000 this summer by volunteering with a local organization. The more volunteer hours worked, the higher the grant amount the student is eligible to receive. The grant is offered in increments of $1,000 for every hundred volunteer hours completed up to a maximum of $5,000.
The grant is a follow up to the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), in which students can earn up to $1,250 per month (or $2,000 if the student has a dependent or a disability). Students can apply for the CESB for up to 16 weeks, for a total of $5,000 (or more for special cases).
The volunteer grant is open to students and recent graduates who are employed as well as those receiving the CESB. These two programs combined means students can earn up to $10,000 this summer if they qualify for both programs.
Grant helps students fight against COVID-19
In announcing the details of the program, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Students are facing unique challenges this summer due to the pandemic. At the same time, many are wondering how they can help in the fight against COVID-19.” Trudeau continued, “The new Canada Student Service Grant will allow post-secondary students and recent grads to gain valuable experience while also contributing to their communities.”
The government also launched a new platform called “I Want to Help.” This website makes it easy for students to identify and apply for volunteer opportunities that qualify for the grant money. Once students confirm eligibility for the program, they can immediately begin searching for service opportunities.
Thousands of opportunities with charities and not-for-profit organizations are advertised on the “I Want to Help” platform. Each opportunity has been verified to make sure it complies with all of the government’s requirements. These requirements include the support of Canada’s response to COVID-19, compliance with public health guidelines, provide a meaningful experience, and require a minimum of two hours a week for at least four weeks. Many of the jobs listed can be fulfilled by working remotely or at home.
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For many students, the grant may be their only source of money to pay for education. Without summer employment, many may not be able to afford to continue their studies. For others, this may be an opportunity to build their savings through investments.
One stock to consider is Absolute Software (TSX:ABT).
Absolute Software provides endpoint security software that allows corporations to secure a range of consumer devices from smartphones to laptops. As we have seen over the past few months, as more employees work remotely, services like these are in high demand.
The company serves more than 12,000 customers, including some of the world’s largest banks and Fortune 500 companies. Absolute Software’s commercial recurring revenues represent over 95% of its total revenues. These high recurring revenues are a predictable indicator of its future income and cash flows.
The bottom line
Students who receive money from Canada’s COVID-19 response plan should think about building a solid foundation to ensure future financial security. Tech companies like Absolute Software, which provide services that are in high demand, both during and after the pandemic, can serve as a valuable part of this financial foundation.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Cindy Dye has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.