About the Program

Each year, the CIBC Youthvision™ Scholarship program commits more than $1 million to make post-secondary education dreams a reality for youth in-need, ultimately helping to break cycles of poverty. Since the program's inception in 1998, more than 500 lives have been changed thanks to CIBC's commitment to kids.

Each year, Grade 10 students enrolled in a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA can apply for the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship program, which grants recipients up to $38,000 in combined work placements and tuition. Winners receive six summer internships through the YMCA, beginning right after Grade 10, and a $4,000 annual contribution towards tuition for four years. These students continue to receive ongoing mentoring from either Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA until they graduate from their post-secondary education.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

The 2016 recipients are:

Jalen Albers-Wallace

Hamilton, ON

Jemelia Allen-Brown

Oshawa, ON

Cassandra Bernard

Coquitlam, BC

Samantha Burridge

Prescott, ON

Sarangan Chandrakumar

Toronto (Scarborough), ON

Sarah Chief

Saskatoon, SK

Jacob Dalling

Vancouver, BC

Amy Dawking

Collingwood, ON

Kingsley Dworin

Toronto, ON

Natasha English

Guelph, ON

Aiyanna Glenister

Saskatoon, SK

Krishnavenkata Gorantla

Toronto (Scarborough), ON

Matthew Goulborn

Stoney Creek, ON

Sharon Huang

Vancouver, BC

Shahrukh Khan

Hamilton, ON

Calleena Kokoski

St. Catharine’s, ON

Paulina Martin

Port Moody, BC

Jessica Mayhew

Niagara Falls, ON

Kiara Overton

Edmonton, AB

Maria Pedraza-Kercher

Burnaby, BC

Zachary Piette

London, ON

Anosha Riaz

Calgary, AB

Shamary Stinson

Hamilton, ON

Ani Su

Vancouver, BC

Joanna Tran

Vancouver, BC

Benite Umukundwa

Hamilton, ON

Rhea Verma

Brampton, ON

Jewel-Rose Marie White

Hamilton, ON

Crystal Wilson

Mission, BC

Yunni Yang

Toronto, ON

CIBC Youthvision, CIBC’s flagship education program, has been recognized by Imagine Canada as an outstanding partnership between the business and voluntary sectors.

Recognizing and Encouraging Potential

The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program Selection Committee selects 30 recipients each year. Each applicant is evaluated based on academic transcripts and input provided by a mentor, Big Brother or Big Sister, and a caseworker or YMCA youth workerThe Selection Committee also considers a candidate's involvement in extra-curricular activities at home, at school and in the community, and their future aspirations. Universities Canada administers this program on behalf of CIBC.

This program is rooted in research that shows early intervention, combined with mentoring, are integral to academic and career success. A look back showed that most graduate recipients of the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program have gone on to continue or attain higher levels of education beyond their undergraduate or college degree. Many parents talk about the incredible relief the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship provided, giving their children a feasible avenue to post-secondary education that otherwise would not have been possible, or that otherwise would have been riddled with both parental and student debt.

Meet a Graduate

Jennifer Atwell

"There are a lot of scholarships out there, but this one is amazing because it pays a portion of tuition and includes a paid internship. The work helped me build a resume and get a job faster. It's a game changer."

Jennifer Atwell received the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship in 2001. She went on to receive an honours degree in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and upon graduation became a Program Coordinator for the Big Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

"I wanted to go to university, but it wasn't within my family's means to save for me to go. I was always worried about loans and financing," said Jennifer, remembering the worries that were a constant part of her earlier student life.

Fortunately, her Big Sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of London helped her apply for the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship. "The award was a real gift that meant I didn't have to worry about financing my way through university. I could concentrate on studying and getting the best grades," said Jennifer.

"The fact that total strangers at a bank cared enough about the community to create Youthvision has really shaped the way I see people. I have always been drawn to the helping fields, like social work, but my experience with the CIBC Youthvision has influenced me to reciprocate and contribute to the wellbeing of others in my community now, as an adult."

Liam LaTouche

"Talk about a kick-start. The Youthvision scholarship opened my eyes to endless possibilities, motivated me to reach my true potential and let me know that there are people who genuinely care about the underdog.”

Liam LaTouche received the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship in 2001 and graduated in 2007 from the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Bachelor of Science Specialization in Kinesiology. Liam speaks positively about the comprehensive nature of the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program and the significant impact it had on his life.

From the beginning of their relationship, Liam’s Big Brother played a pivotal role in every stage of his life. “My mentor taught me the value of honesty and integrity. He has always been someone I can turn to for advice and has helped me understand my worth. We are still very involved in one another’s lives and consider each other to be family,” says Liam.

Through the summer internships at the Scarborough YMCA, Liam gained professional experience within the fitness industry, which he credits for building his confidence, leadership and interpersonal skills. Liam also expanded his network and built lasting relationships with people who were influential in coaching him as he pursued a career in the health and fitness industry.

Today, Liam owns and operates a business in the health and fitness industry. Liam’s academic and professional aspirations are still evolving. He is in the process of applying to Physical Therapy programs at several universities in the hopes of pursuing his dream of working as a physiotherapist with the ultimate career goal of opening a comprehensive, revolutionary wellness facility.

“I could have never foreseen it at the time, but the scholarship opened me up to opportunity after opportunity for personal and professional growth. I am so grateful to have been one of the very lucky recipients of the scholarship program.”

Ijeoma Emesowum

“If you would have asked me in grade 9, do you think that you are going to get this scholarship; do you think that you are going to be valedictorian, captain of the cheerleading squad and one of the principal roles in your high school play, I would have laughed. The scholarship was definitely a catalyst. It was the little light bulb that went off – I can reach the goals that I thought were only dreams.”

Ijeoma Emesowum received the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship in 2002 and graduated in 2008 from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Through the summer internships, Ijeoma had the opportunity to work at YMCA summer camps, which she credits with developing her organization, cooperation and teamwork skills. Ijeoma also speaks highly of her relationship with her mentor, who she says provided invaluable support and encouragement as she pursued her post-secondary education. “My Big Sister isn't just a mentor. I consider her to be my sister, part of my family. She was always there to give an encouraging word and she was always someone I could look to for support.”