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RBC Announces 2013 Students Leading Change scholarship winners

Twelve students to receive tuition funds and exclusive volunteer experience abroad to support Free The Children

TORONTO, July 30, 2013 - RBC is recognizing twelve of Canada’s most civic-minded students with scholarships towards their post-secondary tuition and a unique, hands-on, overseas Me to We Trip experience to Kenya, where they will volunteer with the international charity Free The Children.

Committed to supporting youth education, RBC is providing over $220,000 through the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship Program to help break down a key financial barrier that many students face in pursuing their academic goals selected from nearly 5,000 applicants. Not only were this year’s scholarship recipients recognized for their excellence in academics, but the selection criteria had a greater emphasis on civic and volunteer engagement than in previous years.

“Today’s students have a strong interest in social good and inspiring positive change both at home and in the world around them,” said Melissa Jarman, director, Student Banking, RBC Royal Bank. “At the same time, students are challenged with juggling a number of priorities amid rising tuition. We want to help these individuals by reducing their financial stress so that they can focus on their academics and have the opportunity to lead change through this unique experience.”

According to Statistics Canada, undergraduate students paid $5,581 in tuition fees in 2012/2013, up five per cent from a year earlier. Meanwhile, dentistry students paid the highest average undergraduate fees ($16,910), followed by students in medicine ($11,891). Scholarships, including the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship, will greatly help offset some of the financial strain facing students as they pursue their scholastic endeavors.

Six undergraduate scholarships, valued at $10,000 each, and six Medical and Dental Student scholarships, valued at $15,000 each, will each be paired with a Me to We Trip in summer 2014. Me to We Trips provide life changing experiences for youth, families, groups and individuals in partnership with Free The Children. This trip will give recipients the opportunity to gain volunteer experience through project building in a Free The Children community overseas.

“The RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship recognizes and celebrates hard working and passionate students who are creating positive change, not only in their classrooms, but in their communities. Marc and I were honoured to be a part of this year’s panel of judges and were incredibly inspired by the overwhelming number of submissions and the stories behind them; each depicting the way each applicant can use their background and their studies to make a difference in the world,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder, Free The Children.

2013 winners of the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship Program (in alphabetical order):

Undergraduate Scholarship
Meng Fei (Cathy) Li, Mississauga, Ontario
Tian Yang (Darren) Liu, Richmond, British Columbia
Milad Modabber, Hamilton, Ontario
Hayeong Rho, Calgary, Alberta
Jessica Warkentin, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Lauren Wilson, Coquitlam, British Columbia

Medical / Dental Scholarship
Jeeshan Chowdhury, Edmonton, Alberta
Sarah Fraser, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Pinky Gaidhu, Toronto, Ontario
Marius (Lawrence) Haiducu, Surrey, British Columbia
Aleena Mansoor, Calgary, Alberta
David Sanghyuck Kim, Nanaimo, British Columbia


About RBC Student Scholarships
RBC provides over $300,000 in annual scholarships, which includes the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships for Undergraduate Students and Medical and Dental Students, RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program and Scholarship Program for the Children of RBC Employees. To date, RBC has awarded more than $5 million to over 2500 students.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.

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For more information, please contact:
Ciaran Dickson, Communications, RBC, 416 974-1794,

Suzanne Willers, Communications, RBC, 416 974-2727,