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Recognizing achievements in social justice, the environment, education and more: TD scholarships give back to students who give so much to their communities
The prestigious TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership recognizes 20 outstanding Canadian youth with $60,000 each TORONTO, May 6 /CNW/ - Addressing social issues through feature films, generating awareness around discrimination and inequality, organizing activities for the homeless and developing a lie detector test that is 100 per cent accurate are just a few of the accomplishments of this year's TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership recipients. The scholarship, one of Canada's most prestigious, celebrates community leadership and academic excellence. Many of Canada's brightest, most committed students, both inside and out of the classroom, were recognized at a ceremony today in Ottawa for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to communities across Canada and globally. Selected by a panel of prominent Canadian Senators, business professionals and past award recipients, the 2008 scholarship winners receive full post-secondary tuition, $5,000 a year toward living expenses and an offer of summer employment at TD Canada Trust for up to four years - a total value of up to $60,000 each. "Our scholarship program continues to be one of the country's most coveted awards and this year we had a record 4,200 applications," said Tim Hockey, Group Head Personal Banking and Co-Chair, TD Canada Trust. "We're giving back to the 20 individuals who we think represent Canada's All-Star team of secondary students. By providing our winners with the financial freedom to pursue their academic goals, they can continue to pursue their passion and make a difference in our communities." TD Canada Trust will donate more than $1 million to the scholarship recipients, part of its commitment to youth education that will total more than $2.9 million in 2008. "There's so much injustice in the world and knowing that I'm doing my part to make a difference means a lot to me," said Cassandra Fong, 2008 scholarship recipient. "I'm so excited to receive this scholarship. It will be a big help to me to continue working on causes that are important to me while pursuing my post-secondary education." "These 20 individuals are truly remarkable. Not only have they excelled in the classroom, but they are involved and committed to extraordinary causes in their free time," said Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer. "These students have already accomplished a life-time of success at such a young age. With individuals like these building the foundation for Canada's future, Canadians can rest assured we're in good hands." Regional judging panels interviewed a shortlist of 65 finalists from the 4,200 applicants, which was led by the scholarship program's Executive Director, Dr. Jane Thompson. A complete list of recipients can be found at www.tdcanadatrust.com/scholarship. Some of this year's exceptional recipients include: Nicholas Arnold of Kingston, ON, has applied his talent as a filmmaker to create awareness, fundraise and perform outreach activities around social issues. Last fall, he premiered his feature-length film "The Vicious Circle" - which tackled the topics of bullying and hatred to inspire animated classroom discussions. Kelta Coomber of Edmonton, AB, founded the group "Enraged and Underage" which organizes social activities for the homeless, donated her time at a number of area shelters, and is an active member of the Edmonton Youth Council's committee. Kelta is also a member of the Green Ladies' Society, and an environmental club at her high school. Cassandra Fong of Vancouver, BC, developed a lie detector test that is 100 percent accurate, which is 10 percent more accurate than the existing polygraph technology. This development helped her reach the finals at a national science fair competition. Cassandra is also president of her school's Leo Club where she helped raise funds to combat childhood blindness. Thomas Howard of Baie Verte, NL, founded the group Youth for Environmental Awareness (YEA!) and partnered with local businesses to implement positive recycling methods such as using reusable grocery bags. Thomas also sits on the Dorset Youth Justice Committee where he strives to help criminal youths better their lives. Diana Varvarici of Toronto, ON, created a volunteer translation service in 2005 to assist immigrants seeking employment. Diana also organized the annual "Many Faces of Newtonbrook" multicultural event that showcased international food, dance, art and culture. This community charity day involved more than 150 students and helped finance school construction in Sierra Leone. Jane Wu of Calgary AB, initiated and organized the "Beauty and Brains" conference to promote non-traditional and high-power careers among young women. Jane is also co-chair of the Mayor's Youth Council where she acts as the key voice for her peers providing input on many civic issues. The 2008 judges included Dov Bercovici, President & CEO, Discovery Centre; Dr. Bill Cade, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Lethbridge; Jeanne Douglas, Chair, Minerva Foundation; The Honourable Senator Janis Johnson, The Senate of Canada; Louis Larivière, Director, Bureau de développement; Professor Kathryn E. Laurin, President & Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University; The Honourable Senator Donald H. Oliver, The Senate of Canada; Ruth Ramsden-Wood, President, United Way, Calgary and Area; Dr. Miriam Rossi, Harry Jerome Scholarships; Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, President & Vice-Chancellor, York University; The Honourable Senator Gerry St. Germain, The Senate of Canada; Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, The Canadian Children's Book Centre; Bryan Tisdall, President & CEO, Science World; Julie Toskan-Casale, President, Toskan Casale Foundation; Diane Veilleux, Directrice Générale, Foundation de l'Université du Québec à Montréal; and Manon Vennat, Principal, Manon Vennat & Associates. Joining the judging panel this year are former TD Scholarship winners Dev Aujla (2002), Marc-André Raymond (2005), Kristin Romeril (2001), Andre Sullivan (1999), Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko (2001), and Jodie Waalderbos (2003). These recipients continue to make a difference, creating organizations such as the Canadian Association for Girls in Science and the Canadian Business School Council and founding charities like DreamNow, an organization dedicated to supporting people who want to do good in the world. They have been asked to continue their legacy for this year's winners by acting as mentors. About the TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership Program The TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership is open to all students in their final year of high school, and who will be attending post-secondary school during the following year. Applications for 2009 will be available this fall at TD Canada Trust branches, high school and CEGEP guidance offices and online at www.tdcanadatrust.com/scholarship. TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and other causes. In 2007, TD donated $33 million to more than 2,000 charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada. /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca. Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
For further information: or to arrange an interview: GCI Group on behalf of TDBFG: Elynn Wareham, (416) 486-5910, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jill Quinn, (416) 486-5906, email@example.com; Larissa Marks, (416) 486-2566, firstname.lastname@example.org; On-site at scholarship event in Ottawa: (416) 697-5414, email@example.com; TD Bank Financial Group contact: Jacqueline Burns, (416) 308-0177, firstname.lastname@example.org
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