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Landmark donation from the TD Ready Commitment will expand opportunities for newcomer youth and refugees to connect with communities.
Columbia College is proud to announce a $330,000 donation from TD Bank Group to expand and enhance two programs at the Institute for Equity and Advancement in Education: the Co-LAB and the Community Connections Program, intended to help newcomers and refugees build connections in the local community.
Newcomers and refugees are particularly vulnerable and struggle with social isolation. Landmark funding of $330,000 through the TD Ready Commitment –the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform – will enable the College to expand its Community Connections Program and help build employability skills among the student body by providing necessary workplace skills training in market relevant credentials like, graphic design, community engagement, business, and digital marketing and client stewardship.
Under the Institute, the College runs the Community Connections Program focused on preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. Through targeted programming specifically to youth with refugee backgrounds, the College and TD will enable meaningful relationships between participants and community members in the Metro Vancouver Region. In addition, local non-profits and community partners will benefit from additional support implementing community impact projects.
To introduce students to our network of community partners, the College will provide funding towards Community Impact projects as part of the Co-LAB. This will help to connect newcomer students and resettled refugee youth with local organizations and seasoned mentors to start community projects and enable them to take leadership roles advancing place-based solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges.
Training Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow
Canadian immigrants and newcomers are often found in low-status, low-wage jobs because of their skills going unrecognized. Young newcomers to Canada are at an even higher risk of unemployment, or employment in low-status and low-paying jobs because of their lack of skills and experience in the Canadian market.
Support from TD will lead to increased programming under the Institute at Columbia College. Each semester, newcomer youth and youth with backgrounds in forced displacement will be provided paid work placements with local non-profit organizations through the Community Connections Program. The students who are placed into the Community Connections Program will be provided with essential technology and digital skills training, so they are fully prepared as they enter workforce in Canada. These training modules will be prepared by our Student Success and Co-Curricular Coordinator in collaboration with respective Community Connections Partner Organizations and Career Advisor at Columbia College.
About TD Ready Commitment
In 2018, TD launched the Ready Commitment – now a multi-year initiative – to help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. Through the TD Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. This includes targeting a total of $1 billion by 2030 in community giving towards the Commitment’s four interconnected drivers of change: Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health.
About Columbia College
Columbia College envisions an inclusive society where students can access the education of their choice and contribute to positive social change. Our mission is to equip students to become global, responsible citizens who can communicate, think critically, and make a positive impact in communities around the world. For more than 85 years in Vancouver, Columbia College has supported young people without a direct or obvious path to a higher education.
For further information: Gurjashan Singh Dhummi, Community Development Coordinator, Columbia College, (604) 683-8360, [email protected]