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TD Bank donates $1M to support access to education at Ryerson

Funding will help adult learners transition to post-secondary education
March 19, 2019
From left: Andrea Barrack and Mohamed Lachemi

Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi and Andrea Barrack of TD Bank Group pictured at the announcement of a donation to the Spanning the Gaps program at Ryerson. Photo: Brian So (Clifton Li Photography).

Ryerson University announced this week a $1-million donation from TD Bank Group to help those looking to improve their work opportunities and financial security through higher education. The donation will provide awards to adult learners in financial need entering Spanning the Gaps, Ryerson’s support program for learners transitioning to post-secondary education. The TD donation will also provide eligible graduates of the program with continuity of support as they go on to pursue their degree at Ryerson.

The donation to Ryerson—called the TD Road to Success Awards program—has been made through the bank’s corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, external link, which is targeting $1 billion towards community giving by 2030 in four key areas, including financial security. TD’s donation in Ryerson’s Spanning the Gaps creates a clear pathway for adult learners from precarious work to promising career opportunities.

“At TD, we believe that being able to participate in the economy at all levels, from employment to accessing financial services is critical to feeling confident about your future,” says Andrea Barrack, global head, sustainability and corporate citizenship, TD Bank Group.

“Ryerson's Spanning the Gaps program is not only helping adult learners prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, it is providing them with tools to improve their lives today. Its impact goes beyond just the skills they learn, it's truly helping to create a more inclusive tomorrow for everyone – and that is what The Ready Commitment is about."

“Access to education is the engine that powers opportunity and change,” says Mohamed Lachemi, Ryerson University president and vice-chancellor. “The TD Road to Success Awards program will help adult learners experiencing inter-generational poverty and social exclusion gain the skills and competencies they need for the jobs of tomorrow. We are very grateful to TD for this leadership.”

Spanning the Gaps students, staff and alumni

Spanning the Gaps students celebrate the gift to the program with TD’s Andrea Barrack (second from right) and The Chang School dean Marie Bountrogianni (centre).

The $1-million gift from TD will be directed to Spanning the Gaps entrance awards, program support and undergraduate bursaries as part of Ryerson’s PACE (President’s Awards to Champion Excellence) initiative – which creates access to higher education for students from under-represented groups.

TD has been helping open the doors to a Ryerson University education since 2010, when it first supported the Road to Ryerson program. The bank has also committed to fostering diversity in the workplace and in governance, investing in 2015 to expand Ryerson’s OnBoard Canada program of governance training and board-member matching. TD has also been an important supporter of the Ryerson Image Centre photography exhibitions and programs.

Ryerson University’s Spanning the Gaps program, external link is offered through The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education as part of its community engagement initiative. The program provides wrap-around support with mentoring, tutoring, career advising and more to help adults from a variety of educational backgrounds transition to post-secondary programs in order to improve their career opportunities. Since its inception over 10 years ago, more than 1,580 students have gone through the program.

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