Expanding awards program in 2009
TORONTO, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - Heading off to university or college this fall
just got a little easier - financially - for eight deserving students through
the RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program. For the fourteenth consecutive
year, RBC will award scholarships of up to $4,000 annually for education
expenses, for a maximum of four years at university or two years at college.
"RBC is dedicated to helping Canada's aboriginal students realize their
full potential. The RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program gives us a way to
invest in those who have demonstrated academic excellence and a capacity for
leadership," said Christianne Paris, vice-president, Client & Business
Strategy, Business Financial Services. "We applaud their accomplishments. I am
also pleased to announce that we are expanding the program with two additional
scholarships in 2009 to help more students get closer to achieving their
The RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program is offered to students who are
currently enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies. Selections are made by
an independent committee of academics from the Aboriginal community and RBC
representatives, and are based on personal and academic achievements as well
as individual financial need.
There are two categories through which students can apply - one is
directed at students majoring in disciplines related to the financial services
industry, and the other is for students enrolled in programs not related to
the financial sector. To date, RBC has awarded 77 scholarships totalling
$906,000 to Aboriginal students in Canada.
Students interested in learning more about the 2009 RBC Aboriginal
Student Awards Program can visit
www.rbc.com/careers/aboriginal_student_awards.html. Applications will be
accepted from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009.
2008 RBC Aboriginal Student Award winners:
Métis from the community of Selkirk, Manitoba
Kristy-Lee is currently enrolled in the in the Engineering Access Program
(ENGAP) at the University of Manitoba, pursuing her degree in Electrical
Engineering. In addition to attending university full time, she is earning her
Certified General Accounting (CGA) diploma and working part time for Manitoba
Hydro. In her "spare time", she volunteers for the Selkirk Canoe and Kayak
Club, and mentors grade eight girls at an annual Young Woman's Trades
Status (Treaty Indian) from Merritt, British Columbia
Shelby's goal is to earn her Master's Degree in Business from Thompson
Rivers University and then pursue a career in accounting or law. Outside of
school, she loves to sing, and while volunteering and singing at senior's
homes has been fun, she is most proud of the opportunity to open for renowned
Aboriginal (Inuk) singer/songwriter, Susan Aglukark.
Status (Treaty Indian) and member of the Whitefish River First Nation,
Birch Island, Ontario
Matthew is working to achieve his Master's degree in Commerce and
Administration from Laurentian University. Upon graduation, Matthew wants to
become a financial planner to help others be prepared for life's challenges.
He says that he was taught that "it takes an entire community to help us
prosper, to reach our goals and to grow." Matthew believes this has shaped his
personality; taught him to be a goal seeker, and enables him to grab a hold of
opportunities whenever they present themselves.
First Nations, Whitehorse, Yukon Territories
Aaron is currently attending the Haskayne School of Business at the
University of Calgary to achieve his degree in Business. He credits his family
for showing him that dreams can become a reality if you work hard enough.
Aaron has participated in a number of First Nations cultural events, including
an Aboriginal Youth Feast and the North American Indigenous Games; and
believes strongly in traditions that promote and celebrate aboriginal history
and cultural pride. In addition, Aaron also volunteers in his community,
including helping with local food drives and fundraising for underprivileged
families in his community.
Non-Status Indian, Town of Massey Drive, Newfoundland
Tyler, who is currently working to earn his Bachelor of Science degree
from Memorial University, hopes to become a doctor. He is active on his
school's wrestling team and has earned a number of medals. His wrestling
skills also earned him a spot on the Western NL Winter Games Team. In
addition, Tyler volunteers his time to help elementary students in his
community; and is part of the Model United Nations and Amnesty International
Groups at school.
First Nation Algonquin from the community of Kitigan Zibi, Maniwaki,
Katrina is in her third and final year at Heritage College, where she is
working to obtain her diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).
Upon completion, Katrina wants to go to university and earn her Bachelor of
Education degree so that she can become a teacher. Her goal is to work with
children in her own community or in another First Nation community and tell
them "that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to do" a quote her
parents have often repeated to her. She helps educate her classmates and
college about the history and culture of the Algonquin people; and in her own
community, actively participates in community gatherings and works with
children as often as she can.
Mohawk Nation from Six Nations, Ohsweken, Ontario
Melanie's name, Gowagowaneh, means "Leader of Girls" in the Cayuga
language. With this in mind, she wants to be an inspiration to her three
children, and to all other Aboriginal mothers who feel it is impossible to
accomplish a dream to finish their education. Melanie is currently enrolled at
Brock University, where she is working on her Bachelors of Business Economics
degree. She is proud of her heritage and has represented her country as an
ambassador for Native peoples. She has also been selected to represent Team
Ontario for Senior Women's Volleyball for the North American Indigenous Games
Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Josée, who is attending the Asper School of Business at the University of
Manitoba, wants to obtain an honours degree in Commerce. She then wants to
obtain her Masters, and then work in marketing - a field she feels is
underrepresented by Aboriginal and Métis people. Like her ancestors, her goal
is to make a valuable contribution to society, and to be a role model for
others. She is very active in her community and in school activities and is
fluent in a number of languages.
RBC has a long-standing relationship with Canada's Aboriginal Peoples and
in 2007 donated over $849,500 to support Aboriginal causes. In addition to the
Aboriginal Student Awards program, RBC joined the Assembly of First Nation's
(AFN) Corporate Challenge with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) on the final day of the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on December
12, 2007. In addition, RBC supports the Historica Foundation's heritage
programs for Aboriginal students and donated funds to the Dominion Institute
to support its Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge. Recipients who are
interested in pursuing careers in the financial services industry are also
considered for summer and post-graduate employment opportunities with RBC.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Jackie Braden, (416) 974-2124,