HSBC partners with Indspire and Pathways to Education to deliver $1M in programs to support Indigenous students across Canada

From left: Vivian Prokop, President and CEO, Pathways to Education; Paulo Maia, President and CEO and Executive Sponsor of HSBC's Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group, HSBC Bank Canada; Jean Teillet, Vice Chair (Board of Directors), Indspire Canada. Photo credit: Patricia Sayer (CNW Group/HSBC Bank Canada)

VANCOUVER, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - HSBC Bank Canada is joining forces with two proven partners and substantially increasing its support for education programs for Indigenous youth. Building on its existing scholarship programs for Indigenous peoples, the bank's increased funding is resulting in a total of $1m in new programs to be delivered by Indspire and Pathways to Education Canada.  Specifically designed to enable more youth to successfully complete high school and make the transition to post-secondary education, the new HSBC programs are expected to assist nearly 500 youth in 2014 alone.

Consistent with its global commitment to education, HSBC Bank Canada is contributing $300,000 over three years to Indspire to create the HSBC Indigenous Business Award - with a federal government match bringing the total investment to $600,000 - and $400,000 over three years to Pathways to Education Canada to establish the Pathways HSBC Indigenous Educational Attainment Fund.

These new programs directly address the challenge of access to education among Indigenous youth: in 2011 less than 50 per cent of Indigenous youth in Canada graduated from high school - compared to 80 per cent of non-Indigenous Canadians; and while 27 per cent of non-Indigenous students go on to university, only 10 per cent of Indigenous students will acquire a university education. Research conducted by Indspire shows that lack of financial resources is the number one barrier for Indigenous students in completing their post-secondary education.

Paulo Maia, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Sponsor of HSBC's Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group, HSBC Bank Canada, said: "HSBC currently offers six permanently endowed awards for Indigenous students at colleges and universities across Canada — but we want to do more.  Through our commitment to Indspire and Pathways to Education Canada, we aim to help Indigenous youth achieve their full potential, as well as provide opportunities for our employees to connect with Indigenous communities."

The HSBC Indigenous Business Award will be granted to 188 Indigenous undergraduate students studying business at post-secondary institutions across Canada over the next three years.

Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire, said: "We are thrilled that HSBC is demonstrating their support of Indigenous education in Canada with such a strong commitment to Indspire. This award will give many Indigenous business students the financial support they need to complete their studies, be well positioned for the job market, and contribute to Canada's economy."

The Pathways HSBC Indigenous Educational Attainment Fund will support the delivery of the Pathways program tailored to Indigenous youth to more than 400 students per year. The program will work alongside local school systems, providing after-school tutoring, mentoring and financial assistance to address the barriers that can stand in the way of high school graduation; and employees of HSBC will work directly with students at mentorship and career planning events.

Vivian Prokop, President and CEO of Pathways to Education Canada, said: "HSBC's commitment to making a real and lasting difference in the lives of Indigenous youth is truly a long-term investment in building communities. This program recognizes the unique challenges our students face and provides the skills that youth need to succeed both in and out of the classroom."

Earlier this year, HSBC Bank Canada launched an Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group to raise awareness and support Indigenous employees and programs.

Added Maia: "The launch of the Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group is a significant milestone for HSBC. Our vision is to embed diversity into every aspect of our culture by establishing a workplace free of conscious or unconscious bias, where all employees have an equal opportunity to succeed based on their unique skills and accomplishments."

HSBC's employee resource groups facilitate open discussion of workplace issues, provide a learning forum, and foster an environment that supports diversity and inclusion. The eight employee resource groups at HSBC include: the Asia Pacific Islanders Committee, the Hispanic Latin Diversity Committee, the Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group, the Pride Network, the People with DisAbilities Committee, the South Asian Network for Diversity and Inclusion, the Women's Network, and Y-Knot.                                                                                                                                                    

Notes to editors:

  1. Photo will be available Friday afternoon PST on June 20 via CNW newswire.

  2. About HSBC Bank Canada
    HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in Canada. The HSBC Group serves customers worldwide from over 6,300 offices in over 75 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,758bn at 31 March 2014, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

  3. About Indspire
    Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the Indspire Institute, it conducts research and provides support for community-driven solutions to improve kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. Since its inception in 1985, Indspire has disbursed over $65 million through more than 20,000 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students, making it the largest funder of Indigenous education outside the federal government. Each year, the charity presents the Indspire Awards, a gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people that is broadcast nationally. For more information, please visit indspire.ca.

  4. About Pathways to Education Canada
    Pathways to Education Canada is a charitable organization that helps youth in low-income communities graduate high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education or training. Pathways addresses systemic barriers to education by providing leadership, expertise and a community-based program proven to lower dropout rates. Founded in 2001, Pathways operates in 16 communities across Canada, with programs in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Pathways was recently recognized with a 2013 World Innovation Summit for Education award (WISE) from the Qatar Foundation for its innovative and effective work in education.

SOURCE HSBC Bank Canada

Image with caption: "From left: Vivian Prokop, President and CEO, Pathways to Education; Paulo Maia, President and CEO and Executive Sponsor of HSBC's Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group, HSBC Bank Canada; Jean Teillet, Vice Chair (Board of Directors), Indspire Canada. Photo credit: Patricia Sayer (CNW Group/HSBC Bank Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140620_C8138_PHOTO_EN_41635.jpg

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