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CIBC and BlackNorth Initiative Recognize First-Ever Recipients of Youth Accelerator Program with BGC Canada

Students selected for multi-year program will receive funding for tuition, mentorship, financial education, and opportunities to secure paid internships

TORONTO, June 29, 2022 /CNW/ - CIBC is pleased to announce that 30 Grade 10 and 11 students from BGC clubs across Canada have been selected to take part in the Youth Accelerator Program beginning in late 2022. Spanning across six provinces, recipients were identified by BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Club of Canada), and chosen in collaboration with CIBC and the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI).

Through the Youth Accelerator Program, students will receive $50,000 over four years for tuition, mentorship, financial education, and opportunities to secure paid internships or co-ops with other signatories of the BlackNorth CEO Pledge – which include hundreds of businesses across all sectors of the Canadian economy.

"CIBC is thrilled to recognize the future leaders and changemakers from the Black community alongside BlackNorth Initiative and BGC Canada," said Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, Purpose, Brand and Corporate Affairs, CIBC. "We remain committed to removing barriers to education and employment and creating access to opportunities so that everyone can realize their ambitions, and we look forward to supporting the educational and career growth of these students over the next four years."

"We all need additional resources to reach our full potential and this partnership creates real opportunity for the next generation of emerging leaders," says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. "The BlackNorth Initiative is proud to support this program to address the inequity that exists within our education system."

"Every day BGC Clubs across the country remove barriers and create opportunities for Black youth. As we reflect on the first 30 students selected for this opportunity, we are encouraged and impressed by their commitment to community, passion for leading and learning, and strong drive to break down barriers. We are proud to be part of this program in partnership with CIBC and BlackNorth Initiative," said Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada.

The Youth Accelerator Program is one of many ways CIBC is taking action to remove barriers and address anti-Black systemic racism to foster meaningful change. Other efforts include being a signatory to the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge, establishing the CIBC Black Entrepreneur Program, and providing additional investment to help advance social and economic opportunities for all through the CIBC Foundation.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 13 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Through the CIBC Foundation and the genuinely caring culture of Team CIBC, we are committed to helping people and our communities make their ambitions a reality. Learn more about our community impact. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at

About BlackNorth Initiative

The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadian. For more information, visit: and follow us on social media @blacknorthca.

About BGC Canada

For 120+ years, BGC Canada has been creating opportunities for millions of Canadian kids and teens. As Canada's largest child and youth serving charitable and community services organization, our Clubs open their doors to young people of all ages and their families at 736 locations nationwide. During out-of-school hours in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities, our trained staff and volunteers provide programs and services that help young people realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, job readiness, mental wellness, social development, leadership, and more. Opportunity changes everything. Learn more at and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.


For further information: Josh Burleton, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-304-2712 /