Young people are receiving training and mentorship and getting a foot in the door to launch careers in the financial services industry thanks to a collaboration between George Brown College, RBC and the Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation.
The partnership produced Foundations in Banking, a 13-week program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) youth who are interested in a career in the financial sector but who face significant barriers, including low income, underemployment and unemployment.
The program introduces students to a range of business concepts, including strategic communication, critical decision-making, and financial service sector culture. It also provides students access to George Brown services, such as career centres, libraries, accessible learning services, academic advising and counselling.
“I’m from east Africa, a new immigrant to Canada and a single parent,” said 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."
Near the end of the online program each of the 11 students is given consideration to be recruited permanently by RBC. Upon completion, the students earn a George Brown College certificate.
“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.”
CFL legend and philanthropist Michael "Pinball" Clemons has a long history with George Brown College, and has supported student scholarships and other initiatives through financial donations from his foundation.
“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,” Clemons said. “Together with the effort, essence and excellence of our inspired youth, the program is changing lives almost immediately.”