George Brown partners with RBC, Pinball Clemons Foundation to provide new career opportunities for BIPOC youth

Partnership opens doors to business and financial services industry

March 18, 2020 (Toronto, ON)– In a new collaboration called Foundations in Banking, George Brown College is partnering with the Pinball Clemons Foundation and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to provide BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) youth with educational resources and career pathways in business administration and financial services.

Currently offered online to a cohort of 11 students, the 13 week program is designed to help remove barriers for BIPOC youth who currently live on low income, or are unemployed/underemployed, and are interested in careers in the financial services industry and banking. Towards the end of the program, students are given consideration to be recruited permanently by RBC.

“Adoration for collaboration! A philanthropic fusion of capable partners including the leadership of RBC, the robust adaptability of George Brown College and the mentorship and scholarship of the Pinball Clemons Foundation has infused hope in the heart of deserving racialized youth. Together with the effort, essence and excellence of our inspired youth, the program is changing lives almost immediately,” said Michael “Pinball” Clemons.

Full scholarships are offered by the Pinball Clemons Foundation to pay for tuition, and RBC’s Payments & Trade Operations team offers a 7 week paid internship after students complete the online component of the program. Additionally, students are connected with community-led mentorships that is facilitated by Ahead of the Game through its founder Jonathan Hood.

“This program is phenomenal,” says student Colleen Orr. “I’m able to gain an amazing mentorship that I can apply to my professional and personal life. As a young Black mother of two who has overcome many obstacles, I’m rewarded with a second chance to enhance my life and move forward. I’m extremely grateful.”

The 13-week program introduces students to a broad spectrum of concepts including customer service excellence, strategic communication, business and banking concepts, computer applications, critical decision making, financial service sector culture, and interdisciplinary teamwork. Students also gain virtual access to the college’s career centres, libraries, student services, accessible learning services, academic advising, and counselling.

“I’m from east Africa, a new immigrant to Canada and a single parent,” says student Muna Hassin Mohammed. “I’ve struggled to build my career but thanks to this program, I’ve found people who believe in me and gave me a chance to hit the road of success."

 “This partnership is just one of the many ways that RBC is working to break down barriers faced by BIPOC youth. It opens the door for them to receive a meaningful and rewarding experience, get new skills, and grow their network,” said Michael Pavkovic, Vice-President, Payments & Trade Operations. “We know that diversity leads to better thinking and stronger solutions. We couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming these bright young minds to RBC.”

At the end of the program, graduates receive a George Brown College certificate of completion. “This is just one way that we can open a door for BIPOC youth,” said Ian Austin, Dean, Centre for Business. “This program has the power to transform lives. We want students to come away from the program having strengthened their self-advocacy skills, literacy skills, and learned some strategies for life-long learning.”

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College prepares innovative, adaptable graduates with the skills to thrive in a rapidly changing job market. With three campuses in the downtown core, the college blends theory with experiential learning, applied research, and entrepreneurship opportunities. George Brown offers 172 full-time programs and 180 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to more than 31,300 full-time students, including 30 percent international students, and receives more than 64,500 continuing education registrations annually. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, apprenticeships, and degrees.

About The Pinball Clemons Foundation

The Pinball Clemons Foundation provides marginalized youth with educational resources and options to integrate into the mainstream of society.

​With the implementation of a customized mentorship program and financial support, we are removing the barriers that often hinder success. The ultimate goal is not a diploma or degree – we want to see youth successfully enter the workforce, gainfully employed in careers they desire. See

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 86,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Rima Kar
External Communications Specialist
George Brown College