Putting academic success on "pole position" in 33 schools in Quebec - TRIOOMPH Foundation's "Driving Your Success" program up and running; initial partnership agreement reached with Michelin Canada

MONTREAL, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - TRIOOMPH Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging students to dream and to succeed at school by reinforcing perseverance and efforts, is pleased to announce that its "Driving Your Success" program has been successfully implemented in 33 schools in Quebec, and that it has reached a major partnership agreement in this regard with Michelin Canada. Accordingly, Michelin Canada will support TRIOOMPH Foundation in attaining its objectives and will become directly involved in the foundation's activities, along with 33 driver-mentors for PRIX TRIOOMPH events designed to reward deserving young program participants.

"I'm very proud of how well the 'Driving Your Success' program is doing and the buzz it is generating, not only among students but also among the driver-mentors who have embraced wholeheartedly the challenge of encouraging youths to dream big along with TRIOOMPH Foundation," said François-Charles Sirois, President of Telesystem and Founder of TRIOOMPH Foundation. "I would like to thank Michelin Canada for their support and commitment to this cause. We are delighted by this opportunity to work with this prestigious partner on an issue that touches us all. Sincere thanks also go out to the TRIOOMPH Foundation team, under the leadership of Sylvie Leduc, for the outstanding work they have done in developing and implementing the program. I wish the youths who take part in it the very best of luck. I'll be following their progress closely."

"Michelin Canada is enthusiastic and proud to support this worthy cause, which complements our corporate mission and speaks to our core values here at Michelin. We hope that the student participants know that we are behind them 100% - and we very much look forward to seeing them make their dreams come true," said Tony Mougios, Marketing Director, Michelin Canada.

"Driving Your Success": Inspiration to stay the course and make it to the finish line

Launched in October 2011, the "Driving Your Success" program is aimed at youths aged 13 to 20 whose road to academic success is a difficult one. The purpose of the program is to help motivate them to earn their high school or vocational diploma by capitalizing on the passion many of them have for high-performance cars and auto racing. The program involves pairing up driver-mentors with participating public high schools. Be they CEOs, entrepreneurs or accomplished professionals, be they men or women, these mentors all have one thing in common: a love of high-performance cars and motorsports. Some mentors are even regulars on the semi-pro racing circuit. Their mission is to ignite a spark of inspiration in their mentees by letting them in on their own secrets of success - both on the racetrack and in their careers. During the 10-month-long program, mentors play a hands-on role in four activities that allow them to interact directly with students and thereby maximize the impact of the experience.

"Our driver-mentors are the heart and soul of the program," said Sylvie Leduc, Vice-President, Strategy and Communications, Telesystem, and President of TRIOOMPH Foundation. "By stressing the link between the importance of dreaming, having goals and going after them with everything you've got and working hard at school and understanding the concrete value of various academic subjects in the real world - and the auto-racing world in particular - our mentors are helping these youths realize some very vital things about learning - and about life. It's these 'light-bulb moments' that propel them forward and encourage them to persevere."

The biggest draw of the program for many of the students who have signed up for "Driving Your Success" is undoubtedly the high-adrenaline PRIX TRIOOMPH events. And although all those who take part in the program are winners in their own right and receive a certificate of achievement at the end of the experience, those who show an exceptional sense of determination, positive attitude and team mindset receive an additional reward: an unforgettable day at the close of the school year with the TRIOOMPH team at the ultramodern ICAR motorsport complex in Mirabel. As soon as they arrive on site, the youths are greeted by a group of driver-mentors who take them for a spin around the track in four high-performance racecars and then let them engage in a friendly competition during a simulation race.

For Étienne Bourgeat, Co-Founder of PCO Innovation and a driver-mentor, becoming involved with the "Driving Your Success" program was a no-brainer. As an ardent fan of high-performance cars and amateur racer, the 40-year-old businessman was himself inspired by an entrepreneur he met as a teen to shift his career into high gear and start his own business, which he did at age 28. He has since moved on to launch or contribute to starting up ten companies. "What I really hope to accomplish by sharing my story is to trigger something in these youths - encourage them to believe in their potential and get them working toward their dreams."

In 2011 and 2012, some 3,330 students are signed up for the "Driving Your Success" program, and close to 10% will make it all the way through to the PRIX TRIOOMPH.

The dropout problem: A serious social and economic challenge for Quebec

According to the ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec (2010), some 30% of male students and 22% of female students under the age of 20 in the province leave the school system without a high-school diploma. The current Quebec-wide high-school graduation rate is 67.8%. MELS hopes to bring that up to 77% for the Montreal area by 2020. In Canada, Quebec ranks ninth out of the ten provinces in terms of the number of 20- to 24-year-olds who have not completed their high-school studies.

" Promoting perseverance and academic success initiatives not only helps secure employability for Quebecers, it is an investment in the entrepreneurial and professional potential of the next generation. TRIOOMPH Foundation and other organizations involved in stay-in-school programs in Quebec are therefore helping to stimulate economic growth and lay the foundations for a more stable workforce," Sylvie Leduc emphasized.

About Telesystem
Telesystem is a Canadian private capital corporation that co-owns, builds and manages innovative businesses around the world. Telesystem leverages entrepreneurship to grow businesses in the promising fields of media and technology. It works hand in hand with each of these businesses to share expertise and experience and expand their global reach. For more information, please visit www.telesystem.ca

About Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,200 people and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

About TRIOOMPH Foundation
TRIOOMPH Foundation, its "Driving Your Success" program and the PRIX TRIOOMPH encourage public high-school students in Quebec to work toward their dreams and to succeed. As part of this initiative, schools are paired with a driver-mentors for an entire academic year. High-performance cars are used to encourage students aged 13 to 20 to work hard and persevere in their school work. For more information, go to www.trioomph.com


For further information:

TRIOOMPH Foundation:
Nancy Defoy
Director of Communications
(514) 509-8860

Michelin Canada:
Sarah Boisjoli
HK Stratégies
(514) 395-0375 ext.: 235

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TRIOOMPH Foundation

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