The Royal Bank of Canada is recognizing 15 of Canada’s most civic-minded students with scholarships towards their post-secondary tuition, and for six of those students, with a unique, hands-on, overseas Me to We Trip experience to Kenya, where they will volunteer with the international charity Free The Children. This year’s winners have made considerable contributions to their communities, including fundraising for cancer research and heading up a student-run medical clinic that focuses on providing healthcare to clients who face challenges associated with homelessness and immigration.
Committed to supporting youth education, RBC is providing nearly $200,000 through RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships to help break down a key financial barrier that many students face in pursuing their academic goals. The winners were selected from more than 8,000 applicants. These scholarship recipients were recognized for their excellence in academics, but the selection criteria also had a strong emphasis on civic and volunteer engagement.
“Today’s students have a strong interest in social good and inspiring positive change both at home and in the world around them,” said Melissa Jarman, director, Student Banking, RBC. “These scholarships not only help to provide opportunities to students who are academically focused, but to those who continue to give back to their communities on top of thriving in the classroom. Students were selected for both overall quality of their application and their desire to make a difference.”
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. Scholarships will greatly help offset some of the financial strain facing students as they pursue their scholastic endeavours.
Fifteen scholarships, valued at $10,000 each, were awarded, with six being paired with a Me to We Trip in Summer 2015. Me to We Trips provide life changing experiences for youth, families, groups and individuals in partnership with Free The Children, and set this scholarship apart from others.
“My brother Marc and I are grateful to RBC for launching the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships, which reward the hard work of students creating positive change, in both their classrooms and their communities. The overwhelming number–and variety–of submissions this year speaks to the commitment and passion of these young people, which never ceases to inspire us,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder, Free The Children.
2014 winners of the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship Program (in alphabetical order):
Scholarship & Me To We Trip
Brianna Desveaux, New Victoria, Nova Scotia
Tina Hu, New Waterford, Nova Scotia
Alexandra Pintea, Kitchener, Ontario
Alexa Scarcello, Calgary, Alberta
Kelly Trach, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Yuan Jian Yang, Calgary, Alberta
Kylie Clark, Peterborough, Ontario
Alexandria Gates, Windsor, Ontario
Helen Hsu, Montreal, Quebec
David Laird, Kelowna, British Columbia
Andre Martel, Embrun, Ontario
Ridge Pinto, Surrey, British Columbia
Jared Valdron, Riverview, New Brunswick
Rebecca Wong, Ottawa, Ontario
Matthew Yaw, Richmond Hill, Ontario