Skip Header Navigation

About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > RBC in search of 15 students who are leading change

RBC in search of 15 students who are leading change


Scholarship application deadline is February 19, 2015


TORONTO, December 9, 2014 -  An opportunity to make a real community difference, an “eye-opening” chance to volunteer abroad and important help with the financial burden of tuition – these are among the benefits cited by past winners of the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship as RBC begins to accept this year’s applications.

The program provides $150,000 in scholarships to 15 of Canada’s most civic-minded students in three categories: Graduating High School or CEGEP, First Undergraduate Degree or Diploma, and Second Degree or Diploma.

Applications are now open and available online.

“Today’s students aspire to make a difference in their communities and in the world. We want to help students focus on what matters to them, encouraging their civic spirit and academic goals, without having to worry as much about paying for the increasing costs of school,” said Melissa Jarman, director, Student Banking, RBC.

According to Statistics Canada, full-time undergraduate students paid on average $5,959 in tuition fees in 2014/2015, up 3.3 per cent from last year.

In addition to the monetary scholarships, six Me to We Trips will be awarded to student applicants. To help students gain valuable hands-on experience, RBC is offering students an opportunity to volunteer in a Free The Children initiative abroad, working to help build, support and teach within the communities.

Lauren Wilson had never traveled outside North America before her Me to We trip in May 2014. Describing her experience as “eye-opening”, the Queen’s University biology student said her volunteer work with a health clinic in Kenya has reinforced her passion to pursue a career in medicine and public health.

“I was exposed to a whole new culture and lifestyle that vastly differs from the Western lifestyle. I learned aspects of life that we take for granted, such as clean water and an abundance of food. I learned about myself, my fears, and my passions,” she said.

“Every day, young people across Canada are turning their passion into action, and my brother Marc and I are thrilled that once again RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships are celebrating the power that these young people have to change the world,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. “As part of the scholarship, recipients will have the unique opportunity to not only make a difference in the world, but to also grow as a leader of social change by learning from a new culture and connecting with a new community.”

Brianna Desveaux is in the middle of her first year as a double major in chemistry and mathematics at Cape Breton University. She offers three hints when filling out the Students Leading Change scholarship application:

  1. Talk about what you’re passionate about.
  2. Include everything you’ve participated in. Nothing is ever too small.
  3. Be yourself. Don’t try to sound like someone you’re not.

To qualify for a scholarship, all applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents with a minimum 70 percent average in their last completed year of study. Students with a disability who attend or are planning to attend post-secondary school on a part-time basis are also eligible. Please see terms and conditions for full details. Scholarship recipients are selected for their excellence in academics, but there is also a strong emphasis on civic and volunteer engagement.

The RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship application may be downloaded from The deadline to apply is 3 p.m. EST on February 19, 2015.

About RBC Student Scholarships
Each year, RBC provides over $550,000 in scholarships (this includes the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships, RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program and Scholarship Program for the Children of RBC Employees).

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

- 30 -

Media Contacts:
Ka Yan Ng, RBC Corporate Communications, 647-625-8726
Jill Anzarut, RBC Corporate Communications, 647-534-5118