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Ten Grade 10 students from the GTA awarded CIBC Youthvision™ Scholarships


One-of-a-kind scholarship celebrates 15 years and 450 lives changed

TORONTO, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) announced today that ten Grade 10 students from across the Greater Toronto Area have been awarded CIBC Youthvision Scholarships, valued at up to $38,000 each. 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.

The recipients are:

Priya Girdharie        Toronto, ON
Samantha Hartman        Toronto, ON
Sidra Khan (Neil Morgan Award recipient)     Brampton, ON
Savannah Menton (Athlete Award recipient)    Toronto, ON
Austin Pay         Orangeville, ON
Anannya Sahadev        Toronto, ON
Aliza Siebenaller (Athlete Award recipient)     Toronto, ON
Taufiq Stanley        Toronto, ON
Banujan Thambithurai       Scarborough, ON
Logan Winterhelt        Toronto, ON

Tahirah Stanley, 2005 recipient and Toronto resident, reflects on how the Youthvision Scholarship made all the difference in her life.

"I am one of ten children born into a single parent household" said 23-year-old Tahirah, Founder and Project Coordinator for Theatre for Peace, a program helping youth use performing arts to address violence. "Winning the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship gave my mother the opportunity to take a breath of relief, and focus on the well-being of her other children. Without this scholarship my life would have turned out completely different. I am not a statistic because of this generous gift. The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship helped my family overcome one of the many barriers that face low-income families."

John Polanyi Collegiate Institute student Savannah Menton, one of 33 scholarship recipients this year, explains how it feels to pursue an education without worrying about her finances.

"Having the huge weight of paying for post-secondary lifted off of my shoulders has given me a breath of relief" says 15-year-old Savannah, one of three Youthvision Scholarship Athlete Award recipients added this year, in recognizing impressive leadership in community sports as part of CIBC's commitment as lead sponsor of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in 2015."This scholarship is just a reminder of the potential that I do have to be the best I can be, and I will use it to reach that potential."

"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 Tracy Best, CIBC Region Head in GTA East. "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."

Recipients 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
Password: CIBC

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.

About CIBC
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

Tweet: #cibcyouth @cibc

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

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
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: "CIBC congratulates 2013 CIBC Youthvision Scholarship winners - 33 new grade 10 students from across Canada, including 10 students from GTA. Scholarship winners 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:


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, 416-304-5567