Two Grade 10 students from Winnipeg awarded CIBC Youthvision(TM) Scholarships

Winnipeg's Cassandra Sanderson and Chantelle Chernick celebrate winning 2013 CIBC Youthvision Scholarships at event in Toronto - Scholarship winners from across Canada gathered in Toronto for a full-day inspirational event last week. The scholarship program is celebrating its 15th year and over 450 lives changed since 1999. (CNW Group/CIBC)

One-of-a-kind scholarship celebrates 15 years and 450 lives changed

WINNIPEG, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) announced today that two Grade 10 students from Winnipeg, Cassandra Sanderson and Chantelle Chernick, have been awarded CIBC Youthvision Scholarships valued at up to $38,000 each. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the one-of-a-kind scholarship, which in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA, has changed the lives of over 450 young people.

CIBC Youthvision helps high-potential young Canadians who might not otherwise have the financial ability to pursue a college or university education. This unique program provides scholarships to students in Grade 10, which is when many at-risk youth lose focus at school due to peer pressure, lack of role models and financial pressures. The scholarships provide tuition support, six years of paid summer internships and dedicated mentoring through the YMCA or Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Gabrielle Lisi, 2005 recipient and Winnipeg resident, remembers how the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship changed her life and the life of her family.

"My father raised myself and my brother on his own and my father had a very limited income as he is disabled and unable to work" says 23-year-old Gabrielle, who is currently pursuing a Law Degree at the University of Manitoba. "When my father and I received the news that I had won the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship, I did not immediately realize what it would mean for the rest of the family, but my father certainly did. It would mean that my father, in depending on my scholarship paying for my undergrad, could concentrate on saving enough money to support my brother in his undergraduate studies. Thus, in winning the Youthvision Scholarship, this amazing opportunity to pursue post-secondary studies was afforded not only to me, but also to my brother."

For Maples Collegiate student Cassandra Sanderson, one of 33 scholarship recipients this year, this scholarship marks a first for her family.

"It's very exciting and a lot to take in" says 15-year-old Cassandra. "I now have a chance at fulfilling my dreams and to be the first one in my family to go to college or university and get a good job! I feel so lucky."

This year's recipients recently attended CIBC's first-ever Youth Forum in Toronto, where past recipients, their mentors and families and a panel of experts gathered to examine the issues youth face while pursuing their academic goals. A video archive of the webcast is available at https://webcasts.welcome2theshow.com/cibc2013scholar
Password: CIBC

"CIBC Youthvision is, and has always been, about investing in Canada's young people so they can reach their full potential and build a better future for themselves and their families," says Tom Weber, CIBC Region Head in Central Canada. "On behalf of CIBC, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA, I extend my congratulations to these exceptional scholarship recipients and wish them every success on achieving their academic, personal and life goals."

Scholarship winners receive up to six paid summer internships through the YMCA that begin right after Grade 10, and annual contributions towards tuition for four years.

Over the past 15 years, CIBC has invested more than $170 million in programs to support children and youth-in-need.

About CIBC
CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2012, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $38 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com.

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About the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program

Each year the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship program commits more than $1 million to make post-secondary education dreams a reality for youth-in need, ultimately helping to break the cycle of poverty in their family. Now in its 15th year, this one-of-a-kind program has already helped over 450 students and committed over $15 million. To be eligible, Grade 10 students must be enrolled in a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA. Students receive ongoing mentoring from either Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA until they graduate from their post-secondary education.

In addition to the 30 students who receive the scholarship annually, beginning in 2013, three additional scholarships have been awarded to students showing exceptional athletic potential, as part of CIBC youth legacy commitment as the Lead Partner of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

Along with the scholarship, each student participates in a CIBC Money Smarts for Students Seminar and a mentoring session with CIBC professionals to help them shape their financial and professional futures. For more information visit www.cibc.com/youthvision

CIBC Digital Youth Forum on Academic Success in Toronto

In celebration of CIBC Youthvision's 15th anniversary, scholarship recipients attended a first-ever digital CIBC Youth Forum on Academic Success on June 20 in Toronto. Moderated by MTV Host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, the forum connected recipients, their families and mentors from the past 15 years with a panel of experts to discuss issues youth face while pursuing their academic goals. Panellists included: Dr. Joanne Cummings of PREVNet; Adam Van Koeverden, Pan Am Athlete; Jamie Golombek, CIBC; Megan Thomas, YMCA York Region Employment and Community Services; Pattie Lovett-Reid, CTV Host; and Eugenia Canas of MindYourMind.

*An archive of this webcast is available at https://webcasts.welcome2theshow.com/cibc2013scholar Password: CIBC

A Word from CIBC Youthvision Partners:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada - "Having a volunteer mentor such as a Big Brother or Big Sister inspires young people to realize their goals and aspirations. Unfortunately inspiration alone isn't enough. This is why we are so fortunate to have a partner like CIBC," says Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program has been helping young people in our programs have the opportunity to strive for a better future by attending post-secondary education. Time and time again, we hear that these young people would never have made it beyond high school without the support of CIBC. For this we are eternally grateful."

YMCA - "These youth are a great example of how young people who are given the chance to grow, learn and dream, can reach their full potential.  With a strong start on their path to higher education, they will each have a great future," says Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. "Our partnership with CIBC allows the YMCA to create a supportive environment where young people flourish and build the foundation for a healthy community."

Image with caption: "Winnipeg's Cassandra Sanderson and Chantelle Chernick celebrate winning 2013 CIBC Youthvision Scholarships at event in Toronto - Scholarship winners from across Canada gathered in Toronto for a full-day inspirational event last week. The scholarship program is celebrating its 15th year and over 450 lives changed since 1999. (CNW Group/CIBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130627_C3806_PHOTO_EN_28588.jpg

SOURCE: CIBC

For further information:

For more information and to interview the scholarship winner, YMCA or Big Brothers Big Sisters representative, or CIBC representative, please contact:

Roderick Cumming, Senior Director, Communications
Roderick.Cumming@cibc.com | T 416-304-5567