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RBC gives $80,000 to support Indigenous students at North Island College

Indigenous students at North Island College will be able to access expanded support to complete their education, thanks to an $80,000 donation from RBC and the RBC Foundation.
RBC presents $80,000 cheque to North Island College. From left to right: Kathleen Kuhnert, NIC vice-president, Students & Community Engagement; Rick Eigler, RBC branch manager, Comox Valley; Kelly Bissell, RBC regional vice-president; Kelly Shopland, NIC executive director Indigenous Education; Aubrey Lively, RBC assistant branch manager; and Katharina Schulte-Bisping, RBC assistant branch manager.

Indigenous students at North Island College will be able to access expanded support to complete their education, thanks to an $80,000 donation from RBC and the RBC Foundation.

The money is part of RBC’s commitment to empowering young Canadians by improving access to skills, education and resilience they need to succeed through the RBC Future Launch program.

“We’re excited to be working with North Island College to deliver on the promise of RBC Future Launch,” said Kelly Bissell, RBC’s regional vice-president. “RBC Future Launch is a decade-long commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. We are committed to acting as a catalyst for change, bringing government, educators, public sector and not-for-profits together to co-create solutions to help young people better prepare for the future of the work through “human skills” development, networking and work experience.”

The Aboriginal Scholars program is a holistic and culturally relevant program to empower students by engaging them in the process of creating a self-constructed achievement plan, based on their individual needs. The goals can be academic, spiritual, emotional and/or physical, with the overall aim of supporting students and providing life skills to help them during their educational journey and beyond.

“With RBC’s support, we can do so much more,” said Kelly Shopland, NIC’s executive director of Indigenous Education. “The donation today will help NIC expand the Aboriginal Scholars program to even more Indigenous students at all campuses, as well as students learning digitally. This will ensure more Indigenous students have access to digital and on-campus support for completing their studies and transitioning successfully into the workforce or further education. I want to thank RBC for their continued support of Indigenous students at NIC.”

The Aboriginal Scholars program has been a successful initiative over the last four years in supporting students in meeting their self-identified goals. The expansion of the Aboriginal Scholars program will support the goals in the recently launched Working Together, NIC’s first Indigenization Plan, in establishing Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.

NIC bachelor of business administration student Chris Scarlatti took part in the Aboriginal Scholars program.

“NIC’s Aboriginal Scholars program has continued to provide me with new connections to a wide variety of support and services that I would not have known existed, especially while learning in uncertain times,” said Scarlatti. “Increasing my connections has heightened my business skills on the board of governors, education council, planning and standards committee, and NISU’s accessibility and equity director. Without NIC’s Aboriginal Scholar program, I would not have gained the invaluable skills I need to pursue my CPA designation after graduation in 2022.”

ALSO: North Island College launches first Indigenous Plan