HALIFAX, Oct. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - In celebration of the upcoming Black History Month, RBC Royal Bank is giving back to more students by expanding both its reach and the number of scholarships available through its Student Essay Competition. Students can now earn one of 20 scholarships, up from three, including grand prizes of up to $5,000 that will help make their someday a reality. The competition gives students an opportunity to learn about the contribution black people have made to Canadian history.
The RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition asks students entering a Canadian university or college in the 2015/16 academic year to learn about and share their thoughts on how black Canadians have helped to define Canada's diverse heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions to the broader society.
"It's so important for our youth to understand our shared role in building this country," says Ralph Thomas, president of PRUDE Inc. (Pride of Race, Unity and Dignity through Education), an advocacy and service group for black, ethnic and newcomer communities in Saint John, N.B. who will help form a panel that chooses the top essays. "Writing an essay on this important topic is a great way for students to learn more about some of the incredible people who took action and helped to make a difference in Canadian history."
Other esteemed panelists include:
- Judge Corrine Sparks – Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Ralph Thomas – Saint John, New Brunswick
Greater Toronto Region
- Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow – Executive Director, Toronto Financial Services Alliance
Ontario North East
- George Wamala - RBC Government and Regulatory Affairs
- Nneka Bowen - RBC Vice President, Commercial Banking (Durham)
"Recognizing the contributions of African Canadians is important to our diverse national heritage." says Roger Howard, RBC Regional President for Atlantic Canada. "This essay competition gives young Canadians not only an opportunity to honour those who have helped shape Canada, but also the chance to earn a scholarship to help take the next step toward reaching their goals."
According to Statistics Canada, full-time undergraduate students paid $5,772 in tuition fees in 2013/2014, up more than three per cent from a year earlier, and continuing to grow each year. Scholarships will greatly help offset some of the financial strain facing students as they pursue their scholastic endeavors. There are millions of dollars in unclaimed scholarships each year in Canada, often because students don't know where to find them or aren't aware that they exist.
Essays should be 750 words or less, and must be submitted by December 5, 2014. Full competition details can be found at www.rbc.com/essay
Winners will be celebrated during Black History Month 2015, when all Canadians are invited to participate in festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present.
About RBC Student Scholarships
RBC has provided over $6 million in annual scholarships (this includes the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships, RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program and Scholarship Program for the Children of RBC Employees). RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships.
SOURCE: RBC Royal Bank
For further information: Atlantic Canada, Lori Smith, RBC Communications, 902-421-8121