Choosing law to make an impact

13 February 2023

My life didn’t start with the arrival of the DYP. It also doesn’t define my life. It was a difficult period that changed a lot of things, but it’s not the crux of it…

University law student and Quebec Bar Foundation scholarship recipient

Here is an inspiring story of a courageous young man who chose to study law to make an impact on people’s lives. Immigration law, youth law, criminal law, he still doesn’t know what field he will be specializing in, but does know that he wants to give back as he receives significant support from a collaboration between the two foundations.

It was back in third grade when things started getting rocky in Ali’s life. There was an initial report of conjugal violence at home. Over the years, Ali develops major behavioural problems. He could be impulsive and show a lot of aggression

When Ali started sixth grade, a court order was issued. He had to be placed in a youth centre for one year to learn to manage his violent behaviour. He failed to understand, he felt injustice and anger. At the time, Ali did not understand. He was completely disoriented, he lost his bearings and could not identify with the youths living at the home as they were from a different culture.

How school plays a role in Ali’s life

Despite the unpleasant situation, Ali manages to do well at school. He attends school outside the youth centre.

Before I came to the youth centre, whenever I got my report card, I always had very good grades. However, there were always comments about my bad behaviour


Looking back, Ali admits that despite the lack of freedom and his family’s worry, when he was at the youth centre, his behaviour did improve thanks to the support of the youth workers. He also gained self-confidence through school.

If I did not have school in my life, I would have gone from a youth in the care of the DYP to a youth offender. Luckily, school was a driver of change. It motivated me and gave me pride


Choosing law to give back

A few years later, Ali’s hard work at school pays off. He starts university majoring in criminology. After a few months of studying in this field, and despite his great interest in the subject matter, he wants to switch to a profession that would make him feel like he was giving back and to be an agent of change in society. Law seems to meet this criteria.

However, the financial aspect was an obstacle to this goal.

Ali learns about a collaboration between the Quebec Bar Foundation and the Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ. He submits his application and hopes for a positive response. Relief. His application is accepted. He will be receiving full financial aid throughout his studies.

It was fantastic news that came at a time that was financially difficult for my family and me. This aid allows me to follow my dream, without being a financial burden on my family. Being in law school, I now see that it would not have been possible for me to hold a regular job and put in the time needed to succeed


Aid from the two foundations

The Quebec Bar Foundation will pay for his tuition, his textbooks, a tablet that will be used for his many lectures, the amount he would be charged for rent, clothes to feel confident for professional events, as well as help with his groceries.

The fact that the Quebec Bar Foundation is covering some of my expenses allows me to focus on my studies without having to juggle a regular job. This aid also benefits my physical health: I have access to fresher food that is usually more costly.

This collaboration is also very beneficial for my mental health and my well-being. Having the Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ following up and knowing that a youth worker is available to help me is very reassuring. I know she won’t let me down and for someone like me, who has lived in a precarious situation, it’s always a stress factor


Ali is currently starting his second semester in law school. He knows it is a demanding program but he feels that he belongs there. We wish him much success in his future endeavours!

Young people like Ali can start or pursue their career in law thanks to a generous initiative of the Quebec Bar Foundation, which partnered with the Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ to give youths the chance to pursue their dream. Thank you for this innovative collaboration! 

Learn more about the partnership

*Fictional name, but every detail of his story is true

Sign up our newsletter and receive the latest news about the Foundation