One-of-a-kind scholarship celebrates 15 years and 450 lives changed
ST.JOHN'S, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) announced today that Grade 10 student Sharee Burry has been awarded the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship, valued at up to $38,000. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the one-of-a-kind scholarship, which in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA, has changed the lives of over 450 young people.
CIBC Youthvision helps high-potential young Canadians who might not otherwise have the financial ability to pursue a college or university education. This unique program provides scholarships to students in Grade 10, which is when many at-risk kids lose focus at school due to peer pressure, lack of role models and financial pressures. The scholarships provide tuition support, six years of paid summer internships and dedicated mentoring through the YMCA or Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Gillianne Beaulieu, 2003 recipient and St. John's native, reflects on how the Youthvision Scholarship made all the difference in her life ten years ago.
"My CIBC Youthvision Scholarship provided an end goal to high school, a reason to study extra hard and made me an attractive candidate for post-secondary education," says Gillianne Beaulieu, who holds a Masters in Political Science and currently works for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa. "Most importantly, being awarded the scholarship at such an early age allowed me to sleep better and focus on my studies, instead of spending many-a-sleepless night worrying about how I was going to make ends meet on my own."
St. Bonaventure's College student Sharee Burry, one of 33 scholarship recipients this year, explains how it feels to pursue an education without worrying about her finances.
"I feel so overwhelmed and a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and my families." says 16-year-old Sharee. "This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I will cherish it forever. CIBC has given me the chance to follow what I believe in and to never give up."
Sharee recently attended CIBC's first-ever Youth Forum in Toronto, where past recipients, their mentors and families and a panel of experts gathered to examine the issues youth face while pursuing their academic goals. A video archive of the webcast is available at https://webcasts.welcome2theshow.com/cibc2013scholar
"CIBC Youthvision is, and has always been, about investing in Canada's young people so they can reach their full potential and build a better future for themselves and their families," says Sylvain Vinet, CIBC Region Head in Eastern Canada. "On behalf of CIBC, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA, I extend my congratulations to these exceptional scholarship recipients and wish them every success on achieving their academic, personal and life goals."
Scholarship winners receive up to six paid summer internships through the YMCA that begin right after Grade 10, and annual contributions towards tuition for four years.
Over the past 15 years, CIBC has invested more than $170 million in programs to support children and youth-in-need.
CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, 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 Kids, Cures and Community, 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 2012, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $38 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com.
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About the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program
Each year the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship program commits more than $1 million to make post-secondary education dreams a reality for youth-in need, ultimately helping to break the cycle of poverty in their family. Now in its 15th year, this one-of-a-kind program has already helped over 450 students and committed over $15 million. To be eligible, Grade 10 students must be enrolled in a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA. Students receive ongoing mentoring from either Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA until they graduate from their post-secondary education.
In addition to the 30 students who receive the scholarship annually, beginning in 2013, three additional scholarships have been awarded to students showing exceptional athletic potential, as part of CIBC youth legacy commitment as the Lead Partner of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Along with the scholarship, each student participates in a CIBC Money Smarts for Students Seminar and a mentoring session with CIBC professionals to help them shape their financial and professional futures. For more information visit www.cibc.com/youthvision
CIBC Digital Youth Forum on Academic Success in Toronto
In celebration of CIBC Youthvision's 15th anniversary, scholarship recipients attended a first-ever digital CIBC Youth Forum on Academic Success on June 20 in Toronto. Moderated by MTV Host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, the forum connected recipients, their families and mentors from the past 15 years with a panel of experts to discuss issues youth face while pursuing their academic goals. Panellists included: Dr. Joanne Cummings of PREVNet; Adam Van Koeverden, Pan Am Athlete; Jamie Golombek, CIBC; Megan Thomas, YMCA York Region Employment and Community Services; Pattie Lovett-Reid, CTV Host; and Eugenia Canas of MindYourMind.
*An archive of this webcast is available at https://webcasts.welcome2theshow.com/cibc2013scholar Password: CIBC
A Word from CIBC Youthvision Partners:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada - "Having a volunteer mentor such as a Big Brother or Big Sister inspires young people to realize their goals and aspirations. Unfortunately inspiration alone isn't enough. This is why we are so fortunate to have a partner like CIBC," says Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program has been helping young people in our programs have the opportunity to strive for a better future by attending post-secondary education. Time and time again, we hear that these young people would never have made it beyond high school without the support of CIBC. For this we are eternally grateful."
YMCA - "These youth are a great example of how young people who are given the chance to grow, learn and dream, can reach their full potential. With a strong start on their path to higher education, they will each have a great future," says Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. "Our partnership with CIBC allows the YMCA to create a supportive environment where young people flourish and build the foundation for a healthy community."
Image with caption: "St. John's 2013 CIBC Youthvision Scholarship winner Sharee Burry with New Brunswick's Jermaine Andrade - Scholarship winners from across Canada gathered in Toronto for a full-day inspirational event last week, which included an online youth forum on academic success moderated by MTV Host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani. The scholarship program is celebrating its 15th year and over 450 lives changed since 1999. (CNW Group/CIBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130627_C3624_PHOTO_EN_28555.jpg
For further information:
For more information and to interview the scholarship winner, YMCA or Big Brothers Big Sisters representative, or CIBC representative, please contact:
Roderick Cumming, Senior Director, Communications
[email protected], 416-304-5567