Boys and Girls Club Youth Headed Toward Brighter Futures, thanks to 'Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships Program'

    TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - Thanks to Future Shop, promising hundreds of
Boys and Girls Clubs alumni who might not otherwise get a chance for higher
education are fulfilling their potential as scholars and community leaders.
    Over the past seven years, the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships
Program has awarded 385 deserving BGCC youth with $3,000 towards post
secondary study. In a time of climbing tuition and an emphasis on higher
education as a pre-requisite for skilled work, the Scholarship is vital. For
many Scholarship recipients, it has meant the difference between facing
limited possibilities and fulfilling their dreams.
    "As a child raised in a poor neighbourhood, there were three options:
drugs, crime, or the Boys and Girls Club. Without the Club, I believe I
wouldn't have gone to university or graduated from high school," says Steve
Smith, who is in his final year of Chemistry at Memorial University, and is
also completing two minors in Biochemistry and Math.
    Steve is the first member of his family to graduate from high school and
go on to post secondary education and he was delighted when he received the
Scholarship in 2003. "It provided confidence both in myself and in my ability
to complete university. It helped me develop on a personal and professional
    Unlike many scholarships which reward only the small percentage of
students who have the highest marks, Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships
recipients are selected for their financial need, more than their grades.
    "When a young person works so incredibly hard to overcome obstacles and
work toward an educational goal, Future Shop is honoured to help," says Rick
Lotman, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Future Shop. The company's
cumulative investment in Canadian youth through the Future Shop Future Leaders
Scholarships Program is well over $1.2 million.
    "Many of the youth we serve are fantastic candidates for further
education and are ready to make the most of their opportunities after
university," says Pam Jolliffe, President and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of
Canada. "Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships can be the difference between
the end of an education and the start of a strong future," says Jolliffe.
    Recipients of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships are also
selected for their dedication to their local Boys and Girls Club and
community, which means that the Scholarships benefit the community overall,
not just the winning student.
    Amaal Shahin, a second year Pharmacy student at the University of
Manitoba and a 2004 recipient of a Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarship, is
now a volunteer leader at the Boys and Girls Club in Winnipeg where she spent
so many hours as a child. "Victor Mager Boys and Girls Club is one of the ways
I stay connected to that community," she says.
    Medin Admasu, a 2001 Future Leaders Scholarship recipient who graduated
from Carleton University in 2004, is also passionate about making a
contribution, locally and globally. Medin is currently volunteering with
children in Africa, while planning for future studies in law with a focus on
children's rights. He also donates his time to the Community Foundation of
Ottawa, the organization TakingItGlobal and is the Vice President of YOUCAN,
volunteering in the area of youth governance in the field of conflict
resolution and youth engagement. "I'm also looking at ways to leave a legacy
locally, in my old neighbourhood of Foster Farm in Ottawa and in my native
land, Ethiopia. But those things are to come," he says.
    For now, Medin hopes to encourage more students to apply for the
Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships Program. "I wish the program could
expand and provide more youth with the opportunity to go to school," he says.
"It can be life changing."

    About Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

    Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is a leading provider of programs that
support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than
200,000 children, youth and their families each year. In 700 community
locations across Canada, clubs offer after-school programs in physical
recreation, technology, the arts, personal growth and more. Many clubs also
provide meals, emergency shelter, family support programs and other supports
to children and youth at risk. Boys and Girls Clubs have been helping young
Canadians to discover, develop and achieve their potential for over 100 years.
To learn more, visit

    About Future Shop

    With more than 127 stores across the country and the nation's premier web
store, Burnaby, BC-based Future Shop is Canada's largest
national retailer and e-tailer of consumer electronics.
    Future Shop and its more than 10,000 employees are dedicated to providing
consumers with expert service and offer the latest digital products including
a wide selection of brand-named televisions, computers, audio, entertainment
software and hardware plus appliances-all backed by a low price guarantee.
    The Company is committed to kids and communities, supporting non-profit
organizations that help youth develop their skill set, discover their talents
and sustain a lasting interest in education. For more information about Future
Shop, including store locations, visit

For further information:

For further information: Carol Davies, Director, National
Communications, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, T: (905) 477-7272 (ext. 234),; Cheryl Grant, Communications Specialist, Future Shop, T:
(604) 412-1008,

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