Centennial College's summer HYPE program opens doors to learning and skills for youth

TD Bank Group announces $250,000 donation in support of the youth program

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Almost 120 young people spent their summer  participating  in Centennial College's HYPE program – Helping Youth Pursue Education – a tuition-free learning experience that can open doors to a productive future.

In addition to the HYPE Class of 2014 being recognized for their achievement at a special graduation ceremony at Centennial's Progress Campus today, TD Bank Group announced a $250,000 commitment in support of the program.

Over the past six weeks the students, aged 17 to 29, participated in seven career-oriented courses in business fundamentals, human development, automotive technology, esthetics, digital media, green energy, and baking and entrepreneurship.

"For some, taking part in the HYPE program is the first positive school experience they've had in a long time," said Anthony Bertin, manager of Centennial's Community Outreach Office. "Our initiative promotes education attainment by reducing barriers to participation for youth living in under-served Toronto neighbourhoods primarily in the east end."

In addition to helping fund the program, TD provides student workshops to promote financial literacy and increase awareness and competency in personal financial management as the exclusive financial partner of HYPE.

"The HYPE program provides a free learning experience to youth and encourages them to recognize and strive for their potential," said David Sloan, Senior Vice-President and Ombudsman, TD Bank Group and past Chair of the Board of Governors of Centennial College. "We are very proud to support such a program allowing youth the opportunities they may not otherwise have access to – because when we invest in our young people, we are investing in the future of our communities."

More than half of the youth participating in HYPE come to it through recommendations from family and friends. Centennial also works with local community service agencies to identify young people who could benefit from the program, which includes free transportation, meals and learning materials. One-third of the more than 1,000 young adults who have graduated from HYPE since its inception in 2004 have gone on to post-secondary education.

About Centennial
Centennial College is Ontario's first public college, established in 1966, primarily serving the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area with four campuses. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. Centennial is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. www.centennialcollege.ca

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: Media contact: Cathy Schlender, Manager, Corporate Communications, 416-289-5000, ext. 7140; cell 416-986-3159; cschlender@centennialcollege.ca