Launched earlier this year, the RBC Future Launch Scholarship is a re-imagined, skills-focused scholarship for youth in Canada (aged 15 to 29) who are either part-time or non-students and interested in pursuing a new learning opportunity.
This year, there will be 450 scholarships of $1,500 awarded across the country. The funds may be used for supporting a wide range of learning opportunities, such as short-term courses, workshops, certificates, or online training and their associated costs.
Using Past Experience to Pay It Forward
Roger Clement, one of the 2020 scholarship recipients, came to Canada as a refugee in 2016. “The cost related to legal services and settlement had an enormous impact on my plans to work and study in Canada. Now, these financial constraints have become the core of my motivation to start a financial consultancy service for new immigrants in Canada,” says Clement. His chosen learning opportunity was the Canadian Security Course (CSC) certification, which will allow him to provide personal financial advice for newcomers, such as financing education.
In his home country of Pakistan, Clement earned recognition for graduating with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in his school’s business department while obtaining a Bachelor in Business Sciences, Accounting and Finance. But when he came to Canada, he faced two years of obstacles trying to finance his education.
“I was happy to be in Canada,” he says. “And I knew help would somehow find me. Giving back and wanting to help other people strengthened my motivation, I want to use my experience to pay it forward.”
Clement reflected back on his first visit to an RBC branch, where he saw a Canadian Security Course certificate hanging on the wall, not knowing years later he would complete this certificate with the support of the RBC Future Launch Scholarship.
I want to help people who have been in situations like myself. I had to learn everything from word of mouth, and it took a long time. I want to use my experience to help other people in the same boat.
Since coming to Canada, Clement has also completed his Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) from the University of Waterloo and Master of Accounting and Finance from the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is currently pursuing his CPA certification, and will write his CFE in 2021.
Even in times of adversity, Clement remained resilient and says, “I want to help people who have been in situations like myself. I had to learn everything from word of mouth, and it took a long time. I want to use my experience to help other people in the same boat.” Clement’s plans to achieve his dream of starting a financial consultancy service for new immigrants, creates a more prosperous community while empowering Canadian youth.
Aiming to Offer Opportunity Abroad
Roshni Thawani grew up in Winnipeg before coming to Toronto. Having the opportunity to travel through education has been a critical component of her undergraduate journey that she wishes to bring to others.
“I never could have imagined studying in Siena, Oxford, or working in Darjeeling — yet through my incredible journey at the University of Toronto, I have achieved much more than I could have dreamed.” With her RBC Future Launch Scholarship, she is completing a User Experience Design (UX) certification with plans to “create an exchange program that enables opportunities for children to broaden their views across the world, who by no fault of their own don’t have the means to fund such enriching experiences.”
Starting the next chapter of her academic career, studying UX design will strengthen and align her skill set with Canada’s increasing technological needs.
I want to make the world a global classroom, because young people have so much potential when they have access to it.
While teaching elementary school abroad, Thawani recalls witnessing trends of injustice in vulnerable populations — specifically children — which has been one of her biggest motivators. “I was shocked when I arrived in India, there’s such a gap in resources. It blew my mind. I want to make the world a global classroom, because young people have so much potential when they have access to it. Through these opportunities I learned many new perspectives allowing me to put myself in other people’s shoes, so I feel a responsibility to pay it forward,” says Thawani. “That’s why I think it’s important to diversify education and make resources more accessible.”
Thawani is currently enrolled in continuing studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design in an introduction to UX and starting a Master’s degree at the University of Toronto in Information Science with a concentration in UX. She remains committed to creating an application program that enables people to have the experiences she had, by making travel more inclusive for everyone.
Interested youth can still apply for the RBC Future Launch Scholarship. The next application deadline closes on August 27, 2020. To learn more, visit www.rbc.com/flscholarship.
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