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Caregiving and philanthropy hallmarks of the 2007 RBC Financial Lifeskills Scholarship recipients


RBC today announced this year’s recipients of the RBC Royal Bank’s Financial Lifeskills Scholarships. Each of the 10 award winners will receive a scholarship worth $2,007 to be used toward tuition and school-related expenses for their first year of college or university.

“These students have a remarkable sense of community that is evident in everything they do,” said Judith Murchison, senior manager, Client Strategy, RBC Royal Bank. “We’re delighted to offer these scholarships as a way to lessen their financial burden, to support their education and help pave the way to success and fulfillment in the work force.”

The RBC Financial Lifeskills Scholarships are designed for students in any stream, pursuing studies in any field, and are awarded to those who have demonstrated some involvement with community leadership, extra-curricular activities, volunteer service or the pursuit of career and educational objectives.

This year’s student award winners are:

Jacqueline “Blaike” Holding - Abbotsford, BC graduated from St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary School in Abbotsford and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in History at University College of The Fraser Valley, B.C. A quadruple amputee who has won medals at the B.C. Winter Games and B.C. Summer Games, Blaike’s goal is to be a motivational speaker. She has also volunteered for the War Amps of Canada as well as several sports organizations.

Khalil Jessa - Surrey, BC graduated from Southridge School in Surrey and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program at McGill University in Montreal with a major in International Development and a minor in Economics. Khalil’s goal is to be a UN diplomat. In high school he created a Model UN conference that attracted 50 students from the Lower Mainland.

Kara Nadeau - Winnipeg, MB graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Winnipeg and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science program in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. Kara’s goal is to be a science researcher in agriculture. She has conducted independent research in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada laboratory facilities and was a leader of the Mission Club, an organization that helps people in need.

Miles Aronson - Okotoks, AB graduated from The Centre for Learning @ Home in Okotoks and is enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine with a major in Health & Society at the University of Calgary. Miles’s goal is to become a medical doctor. In 2002, he created Spread the Love, a charitable organization that works with communities to combat hunger. The program has delivered over 17,000 meals in Alberta and is opening chapters in BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Sarah Schumann Johns - Oakville, ON graduated from Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville and is enrolled in both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education programs with a major in Humanities at Brock University. Sarah’s goal is to become a teacher of students with special education needs. Sarah created craft kits for children living at the Halton Women’s Shelter and has written a children’s story to promote self confidence and tolerance.

Corey Bricks - Thornhill, ON graduated from Westmount Collegiate Institute in Thornhill and is enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences Program at The University of Western Ontario with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Spanish Language & Linguistics. Corey’s goal is to become a cardiologist. He has volunteered for Free the Children and his school’s Peer Mediation Group where he helped students resolve conflicts.

Samantha Milner - Beaconsfield, QC graduated from Beaconsfield High School and is enrolled in the Social Sciences program at John Abbott College in Montreal. Samantha’s goal is to continue to be a philanthropic entrepreneur. At age 11, Samantha developed a dog and cat gourmet cookie mix and donated a portion of the profits to the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She now has branched out into fashion accessories and has already donated over $35,000 to various causes.

Michael Wexler - Montreal, QC graduated from Dawson College (CEGEP) in Montreal and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Michael’s goal is to be a medical doctor. Michael initiated and organized a blue bracelet fundraising campaign to support the victims of the Dawson College shootings. The program led to the creation of the Anastasia de Sousa Memorial Award Fund. The campaign raised over $ 60,000.

Norma Patricia Kimsi Palacios - LaSalle, QC graduated from Cégep André-Laurendeau in LaSalle and is enrolled in a Bachelor in Nursing Sciences program at l’Université de Montréal. Since moving to Quebec from her native Mexico, Norma Patricia has learned French, volunteered at schools, a neighbourhood church, and child-care facilities.

Jérémie Maillet-LeBlanc - Moncton, NB, a recent graduate from École l’Odyssée in Moncton, is enrolled in a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at l’Université de Moncton. Jérémie’s goal is to become a civil engineer. Jérémie runs his own lawn care business, Jérémie Seasonal. His business plan won first prize in the SEED category of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

To qualify for the RBC Financial Lifeskills Scholarships, students must be in their final year of high school, or completing their final year of CEGEP in Quebec, and maintain a minimum grade average of 65 per cent. Students must also be registered or have been accepted at a college or university in Canada for the Fall/Winter session. For more information about the scholarships and past recipients, or to print the scholarship application form, please visit The next application deadline is May 9, 2008.

The Financial Lifeskills scholarships are awarded in conjunction with the Financial Lifeskills Seminars launched by RBC in 2002 for high school students across Canada. The program, which educates students about financial literacy, and career planning, has since been expanded to different age groups spanning grades four to twelve. Over the five years of the program, more than 16,000 educators have ordered free student resources, assisting hundreds of thousands of Canadian students.

RBC’s Scholarship Awards Program offers a diverse range of scholarship awards to help address the critical need for student funding across Canada. In 2006, RBC awarded over 320 scholarships, totalling more than $600,000. Scholarships are available for students studying in high school, pursuing undergraduate studies at college or university, and those entering professional programs in medicine or dentistry. Specialized scholarships are also available to New Canadians, Junior A hockey players, and Aboriginal students. For more information about RBC’s Scholarship Program please visit


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