CIBC commits $2.8 million to Youthvision Scholarship Program
Program helps Grade 10 students realize their dreams with post-secondary scholarships, work experience and mentoring TORONTO, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) today announced an additional $2.8 million for its CIBC Youthvision™ Scholarship Program to continue helping young Canadians who may not otherwise have the opportunity to get a post-secondary education and achieve their full potential. This new commitment brings the total investment in this education program to more than $10 million since its inception in 1999. Through a unique partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and YMCA Canada, the program annually awards 30 scholarships valued at up to $34,000 each to Grade 10 students who are enrolled in mentoring programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or YMCA Canada. In addition to tuition support, recipients also participate in summer internships at YMCA across Canada after completing Grade 11. "Since the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship program was created, we have awarded scholarships to 270 Grade 10 students," said Gerry McCaughey, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC. "This program provides teens with the opportunity to build strong futures. It is part of our commitment to investing in the education, development and growth of Canada's youth." "The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship was essential to my future," said Ryan Kirkland, a case worker and mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg. "Without it, I either wouldn't have gone to university or I would have had to get numerous loans. This gave me the opportunity to graduate with no debt and to get a job I love. It has set the groundwork for my life." "We see the difference the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program is having on the lives of these young people who have so much potential," said Michael Weil, President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Canada. "The YMCA summer internship gives scholarship recipients the chance to develop new skills, try different types of work and test their potential career paths each summer for up to five years after Grade 11. This gives them valuable on-the-job experience and the chance to form a stronger sense of their likes, dislikes, aptitudes and preferences." "For us, it's been a great fit," said Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "Teens will go through turbulent times. That's when kids are starting not to think of post-secondary education. Offering both financial support and mentorship to potential post-secondary students while they are still in high school is extremely effective. For some families, this is the first time anyone has gone to university." To be eligible, a Grade 10 student must be enrolled in a mentor program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or YMCA Canada, have a minimum academic standing of 60 per cent in the year of application, and be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Recipients must also maintain their eligibility by successfully completing high school, keeping a good disciplinary standing, and remaining in a mentorship program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or YMCA Canada. CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our 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 youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children's Miracle Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. In 2007, CIBC's ongoing multi-year commitments to universities and colleges across Canada totalled nearly $18 million. Of this, more than $6 million was directed to bursaries and scholarships to enable students to pursue post-secondary education. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas.