February 15, 2022, Toronto, ON — The Pinball Clemons Foundation (PCF) announced it is continuing to provide BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) youth with career pathways in a broad range of industries through an expanded partnership with RBC Future Launch and George Brown College.
The partnership supports a program that will be offered online through George Brown College to a cohort of 20 students (aged 19 to 29) in the Greater Toronto Area. The program was initially piloted in 2021 with great success. Taking place over 15-weeks, this program is designed to help remove barriers for BIPOC youth who currently live on low income, are unemployed/underemployed, and are interested in careers with a foundation in Business Administration. Towards the end of the program, students will be connected with a wide range of corporate partners for guaranteed recruitment.
“Adoration for collaboration! A philanthropic fusion of capable partners including the leadership of RBC Future Launch, 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,” said Michael “Pinball” Clemons. “Together with the effort, essence and excellence of our inspired youth, the program is changing lives almost immediately.”
The program begins with 2-weeks of intensive mentorship designed specifically to help the students prepare for employment, followed by a 13-week academic micro-credential course. The program is funded in partnership between Pinball Clemons Foundation and RBC Future Launch: the bank’s 10-year, $500 million commitment to empowering Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow through practical work experience, skills development, networking and access to mental well-being supports and services. In 2020, RBC committed to providing $50 million in focused funding through RBC Future Launch to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for up to 25,000 BIPOC youth by 2025, with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring.
“Ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have equal opportunity today is critical to building more inclusive companies and communities that can achieve their greatest potential,” said Mark Beckles, Vice-President, Social Impact & Innovation, RBC. “We know that, thanks to this partnership with PCF and George Brown College, more young people will be enabled to find their pathway to prosperity. We look forward to not only seeing what they accomplish but welcoming some of these students to RBC to enrich our culture with their unique perspectives.”
A group of additional corporate partners have also signed on to support the initiative by providing 15-week paid internships and guaranteed employment. Corporate partners include Apple Express, Chartwells, Collective Arts, Longo’s, Moneris and many more.
"This program has really opened my eyes to the possibilities,” says student Henry Austria. “I never thought that working in Banking was an option for me. The Mentorship, Academic Classes, and Internship prepared me well for my role. This program has very much benefited my professional and personal development."
The program introduces students to a broad spectrum of concepts including customer service excellence, strategic communication, business concepts, computer applications, critical decision making, 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 had a fantastic experience with the Foundations in Banking Program,” says student Marietta Mahendra. “It opened doors to me that were not previously available. I now have almost a year of experience and many career prospects inside of a market leader."
At the end of the program, graduates receive a George Brown College certificate of completion.
“This is just one way we can open doors to the future for BIPOC youth,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President, George Brown College. “This program has the power to transform lives and reflects what we can achieve together through partnership. We are helping youth achieve their goals and build bright futures for themselves and their families. Students will come away from the program having strengthened their self-advocacy skills, literacy skills, and learned some strategies for life-long learning. The program will support their future success.”
Youth interested in participating in the program can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Prospective corporate partners are invited to contact The Pinball Clemons Foundation for more information on offering internship or employment opportunities to participating youth.
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 pinballfoundation.ca