Helping Indigenous youth succeed through scholarships, access to mentors
TORONTO, June 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Providing funding for education removes the biggest barriers to graduation for Indigenous youth. But, it takes a village to position students for success. A recent study by Indspire, a charitable organization that invests in the education of Indigenous people, notes the importance of engagement between students and parents, educators, communities, government, and the private sector.
CIBC, a long-time supporter of Indigenous initiatives, not only funds scholarships and bursaries but also mentorship programs, such as Indspire's Rivers to Success that helps students transition into the workforce. In the last three years alone, CIBC has contributed more than $3 million to help Indigenous communities, including a commitment of over $1-million to various Indspire programs.
"I have the utmost respect for Indspire and the mentoring program," says Josh Thomas, a member of Snuneymuxw First Nation from Nanaimo, B.C., who connected through Rivers to Success with a mentor from CIBC, Pradeep Mathur, that led to a summer internship at the bank's Toronto head office.
"Being paired with Pradeep helped me learn how to handle myself professionally, hone my interviewing skills, learn more about the banking industry, and most importantly, gave me the confidence to think big and accept the challenge of moving to a big city to pursue a career," he says.
In addition to nearly a quarter century of support for Indspire, CIBC has several internal programs that support people from the Indigenous community, such as its Pathfinders program which matches new hires with current Indigenous employees in their first three months of employment.
"At CIBC, we strongly believe that education and mentorship go hand-in-hand to building a stronger, more prosperous and compassionate country," says Laura Dottori-Attanasio, CIBC's Chief Risk Officer and Diversity and Inclusion Executive Champion. "We are proud to invest in vital programs like Rivers to Success that will inspire and assist Indigenous young people to reach their full potential."
Last month, CIBC contributed $175,000 to the University of Regina to establish the CIBC Aboriginal Bursary for students pursuing degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Computer Science. The bank has also supported other Indigenous organizations and programs, including Frontiers Foundation, Boundless Adventures, Canadian Feed the Children, Let's Talk Science and Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Led by its Aboriginal Employee Circle, CIBC will mark National Aboriginal Day and Aboriginal History Month this June with special events at CIBC locations in Toronto.
CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. 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 2014, CIBC contributed more than $42 million to 1,780 charitable and non-profit initiatives in over 420 communities. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.
SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Caroline Van-Hasselt, Media Relations, 416-784-6699 or firstname.lastname@example.org