With COVID-19 plaguing the world, there has not been much to look forward to this year. Like the rest of the world, Canadians are also struggling to deal with the effects of the crisis. The federal government announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) on June 25, 2020.
The highly anticipated grant is part of the government’s COVID-19 Response Plan that the government launched to encourage students to help in the fight against the global health crisis.
Grants for students to help in the fight against COVID-19
Volunteering with local organizations can help recent graduates and post-secondary students earn up to $5,000. The more hours they put in with the organization, the higher the amount they can qualify to receive. For every hundred volunteer hours completed, students will get the grant in increments of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000.
This grant comes as a follow up to the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) program. CESB allows students to earn up to $1,250 per month. If the student has a disability, they can receive up to $2,000 per month. Students can apply to receive CESB for weekly payments for up to 16 weeks. The total is $5,000 for the 16 weeks, and special cases can earn more.
Between the payments of both programs, students can earn a total of $10,000. The volunteer grant is also applicable for students working, so they can benefit from it even if they are not eligible to collect CESB.
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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. The new Canada Student Service Grant will allow post-secondary students and recent grads to gain valuable experience while also contributing to their communities.”
“I Want to Help” is a platform launched by the government to help students find and apply for volunteering opportunities that can help them qualify for grant money. Students who qualify for the program can begin looking for opportunities. The platform provides access to several thousand prospects that students can explore with charities and not-for-profit organizations.
Students who volunteer can get excellent meaningful experience, even through jobs that require working remotely or at home. The funds that students collect through their hard work will benefit the community at large and help them fund their higher education.
Building funds for education
With summer jobs unavailable to most students, the grant might be the only way to make money for many. Higher education is expensive, and students can use all the help they can get. Besides volunteering and collecting CESB money, students can also generate passive income through investments.
Consider investing in a stock like Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP). BEP is a pure-play renewable energy company that is sitting atop an industry potentially worth $10 trillion.
Over time, our focus on phasing out fossil fuel for energy is decreasing. Fossil fuel is available in limited supply, and it is harmful to the environment. Renewable sources of energy are becoming cheaper and more widely available. According to a Goldman Sachs report, “Renewable power will become the largest area of spending in the energy industry in 2021.”
Bloomberg expects the industry to grow to $10 trillion by 2030. Brookfield is capitalizing on this trend by investing in renewable energy. The company has been acquiring and developing renewable energy assets for the last two decades.
At writing, the stock is trading for $70.17 per share. In the last two decades, it has climbed by almost 540% and has a juicy 4.26% dividend yield. Investing in the stock can help you capitalize on the long-term capital appreciation to grow your wealth and earn passive income through its dividend payouts in the meantime.
Students who receive money through CESB and CSSG should consider building a foundation that can provide them with financial freedom.
Brookfield Renewable Partners is a company that can provide them an ideal departure point for a robust investment portfolio, which will remain in demand during and long after the pandemic.
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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 Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.