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Sheridan celebrates gift from RBC Future Launch to help youth drive social change

Nov 19, 2020

rbc futurelaunch

Sheridan is welcoming a $435,000 gift from RBC Future Launch that will support social entrepreneurship, mentorship, and enriched co-curricular learning opportunities. This gift will directly support students and youth in our communities for the next three years.

Thanks to this investment, EDGE, Sheridan’s entrepreneurship hub, will expand the Social Impact Catalyst powered by RBC Future Launch. This program provides aspiring entrepreneurs and changemakers – who are youth between the ages of 15-29 – the space, time, and mentorship to pursue their own social venture ideas, based on a designated theme. Participants are now able to apply for the cohort that will begin in January 2021 with a focus on ventures that improve equity, inclusion and justice in our communities.

“I’m delighted that RBC Future Launch will continue to bolster Sheridan’s student experience and the important work we are doing in our communities,” says Sheridan President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Janet Morrison. “Through this gift, RBC Future Launch provides opportunities for students and young people to develop the leadership and knowledge that make education a truly transformational experience.”

With Nov. 19 marking Social Enterprise Day, Renee Devereaux, Director, Entrepreneurship & Changemaking at Sheridan, says it’s the perfect time to celebrate RBC Future Launch’s support. Youth and equity-seeking communities are among those hardest hit by the pandemic, and EDGE is building a strong ecosystem where social entrepreneurs get the support needed to build ventures that address these challenges.

“I’m very grateful for RBC Future Launch’s support and encouragement of youth in our community,” she says. “At EDGE, I have the chance to see that when young people build solutions that are relevant, meaningful, and designed for their communities, they’re likely to grow and be adopted by others. This gift will help us make a long-lasting impact in our communities for years to come.”

The gift will also be directed to continue RBC Future Launch’s support of Sheridan Connect, an online networking and mentorship platform that allows current students and new graduates to meet virtually with alumni for career advice and industry knowledge.

RBC Future Launch’s support also includes a sponsorship to expand Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business Conference to include students from all Faculties. The one-day event, supported by RBC Future Launch since 2018, has allowed students to receive real-world career advice from Sheridan grads in their field. Beginning in 2021, RBC Future Launch’s gift will allow the conference to diversify the number of industries students can learn about – from the arts to technology.

“Helping young people prepare for the future of work is a priority for us and the reason we created RBC Future Launch; our 10-year and $500 million commitment to support youth,” says Tom Parisi, Regional Vice President, Mississauga, RBC. “I’m thrilled that we are able to continue working with Sheridan in this journey, and be leaders in supporting social entrepreneurship.”

RBC Future Launch’s gift is the latest step in a long-standing partnership between Sheridan and RBC. In 2018, RBC Future Launch funded the creation and implementation of the Career Ready program, a modular, online and in-person workshop series designed to help prepare students for the workforce. At the start of the pandemic, RBC Future Launch’s flexibility generously allowed Sheridan to allocate funds to support Sheridan’s new Virtual Internship Program (VIP), which gave 400 students the chance to continue valuable co-op work opportunities this summer – jobs that may have otherwise been lost due to the pandemic – and towards support of the COVID-19 Student Emergency Bursary for students experiencing extreme hardship. RBC has long provided co-op placements for students and hired many of our graduates.

“This partnership has proven essential to generating opportunities that support students at all points of their experience here at Sheridan,” Morrison says. “I’m delighted to have a strong industry partner as we create ways for students to engage in meaningful programs now, and for years to come.”

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