Lethbridge Teen Earns $36,000 CIBC Youthvision Scholarship and Award for Community Volunteerism

"This scholarship will open my eyes to new beginnings and proves that anything is possible"

LETHBRIDGE, AB, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) - Lethbridge Grade 10 student, Marissa Schmidt, has been awarded a CIBC YouthvisionTM Scholarship valued at up to $36,000. She also won the "Neil Morgan Award" (CIBC Wood Gundy employee and philanthropist) for significant contribution to community volunteerism among all 30 scholarship recipients.

"It's feels awesome to know all my volunteering has paid off," said Marissa, 16. "This scholarship will open my eyes to new beginnings and prove to me that anything is possible. I want to be a pediatric nurse in the oncology department at the Children's Hospital in Calgary. Kids are always so positive no matter what's going on. I just want to help them get better."

Marissa grew up in community housing, being raised by a single mom who is unable to work due to illness. She often takes on a care-giving role, cooking Christmas dinner for her family this past year.

"Marissa is the most positive, outgoing, likeable person I have ever met," said Lisa Selinger, her Big Sister of eight years. "She never complains about anything."

Early intervention in Grade 10 makes this scholarship program unique in Canada. CIBC YouthvisionTM targets high-potential young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a university or college education. To be eligible, Grade 10 students must be enrolled in a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA.

"Congratulations to Marissa Schmidt on being awarded a CIBC Youthvision Scholarship and for her volunteer work in the community," said Mike Stevenson, CIBC Senior Vice-President for Western Canada. "Marissa was selected for her overall commitment and work ethic. This award reflects all her hard work at school, at home and in the community. We are proud to support such an outstanding individual."

On September 29, 2011 West Lethbridge CIBC Banking Centre will be awarding Marissa six summer internships through the YMCA that begin right after Grade 10, valued at up to $20,000 and tuition for four years, valued at up to $16,000. She will continue to receive mentoring from either Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or YMCA until she graduates from University. In addition, she will take part in CIBC Money Smarts for Students Seminar to help her shape her financial future as she prepares to head off to college or university.

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our 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 youth, education and health, 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 2010, CIBC group of companies contributed approximately $34 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com.


For further information:

For more information and to interview the scholarship winner, Big Brother Big Sister representative, or CIBC representative, please contact:

Nicole Davis, Senior Manager, CIBC Community Investment, Western Region
Nicole.davis@cibc.com | T 403-974-6300 | C 403-819-7977

West Lethbridge CIBC Banking Centre is located at Unit 2-380 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB
The presentations will begin at 5 pm on Thursday September 29, 2011. 


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