Charity Spotlights

Alberta Children's Hospital

Putting fear in its place with help from fundraisers like you

A program designed to help children with autism overcome anxiety is changing the lives of Calgary kids and teens like Isabella, thanks in part to support from people like you.

Facing Your Fears is an established cognitive behavioural therapy geared toward autistic youth. It helps kids identify their worries and tackle them head-on.

It’s part of a five-year research project funded by community donations through events like the global virtual RBC Race for the Kids, and headed by Dr. Carly McMorris, an associate professor at the University of Calgary and a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

“We know that autistic youth are at a heightened risk of experiencing anxiety, which is often more crippling than the diagnosis – it significantly impacts kids and families,” says McMorris.

“With the families we have been able to enroll in Facing Your Fears, we are seeing dramatic improvements, not just in the kids, but in the quality of life for the entire family.”

The Hodge family is one of many who have benefited already.

Isabella, 13, was diagnosed with autism, confirming suspicions long held by her mom, Jennifer. Her little girl experienced multiple fears that were ever-present and debilitating — fears that held Isabella back from living her best life.

“In the day-to-day, when your child won’t have a bath on their own, when they won’t sleep in their own bed, when they’re afraid of people stopping by the house and you don’t know where it’s all coming from, it’s a lot,” says Jennifer.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a team of caring people to build them back up, too. Guided by a team of experts that included psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, Jennifer and Isabella spent 14 weeks learning to understand Isabella’s fears and how to dismantle them, one by one.

The program included classes, workbooks designed for both the parent and child, deep breathing techniques, new coping skills and strategies for self-calming, as well as a reward system to encourage Isabella along her journey. 

One of the tools that helps them track progress is a method called the Stress-O-Meter, which asks kids to gauge their anxiety on a scale from zero to eight. In the beginning, sleeping alone was a solid eight for Isabella. By the end of the program, it was zero.

“We were very fortunate to get into this program. It was really, really helpful, “says Jennifer. “Will Isabella have new anxieties? Yes, of course. But now I know how to help her overcome them. We have the tools.”

Experts pivoted to a virtual model once the pandemic set in, ensuring families could still benefit from the program in the face of public health restrictions. 

McMorris says what they’ve seen with Facing Your Fears already is so encouraging they are growing the program to reach even more families in the community, including kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

By signing up for RBC Race for the Kids, you can help kids like Isabella and so many others in Calgary who need the kind of innovative care and programming that the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health will provide when it opens in the fall of 2022.

The Centre will house a suite of new services, including a walk-in clinic, intensive treatment services and a day hospital, to help young people and their families identify and rapidly manage mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.

For Jennifer and Isabella, Facing Your Fears was an invaluable and empowering experience and Jennifer hopes the program continues so that more families benefit. 

“It’s so important for these kids to learn these coping skills for when they get out there into the world. We are so grateful for the community support that makes this program possible,” she says. “And to know this is all part of research, that’s so important to us, to be part of something that’s going to help more people in the future.” 

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Comer Children's Hospital

Hannah Jones made a choice to change her diet and, ultimately, her life.

Support Comer Children’s Hospital to help families like the Jones

Diagnosed with pediatric epilepsy in 2011, Hannah Jones has been off and on epilepsy medications that caused deteriorating stomach issues, migraines, and excess weight gain. The upbeat young woman was forced to miss more than 23 days of school her junior year of high school because of seizures and side effects from her medications.

When she was in high school, her doctor, Chalongchai Phitsanuwong, MD, at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, shared with Hannah and her mom, Tonya Jones, a possible solution—the ketogenic diet—a therapy prescribed for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy when medications fail.

Dr. Phitsanuwong, who Hannah affectionately calls "Dr. P," is a pediatric neurologist and epileptologist in the Level 4 Pediatric Epilepsy Center at Comer Children’s. He offered Hannah and her family an option to try the diet before moving forward with the Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) procedure. During the procedure, a device is inserted into the chest to block the electrical impulses that cause seizures.

“Hannah has tried and failed so many medications and even combinations of medications since her diagnosis," Tonya said. Deciding it was worth a shot, Hannah chose to give the diet a chance before the procedure. Her decision has paid off.

 “The diet has worked so successfully that Hannah was able to decrease medications that she has been on," Tonya said.

Now a 20-year-old, Hannah's complications, from stomach issues to headaches, are gone. Her seizures have wound down to nearly zero and she is attending nursing school, volunteering at Comer Children’s and making masks for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and volunteering for a non-profit therapeutic horse stable to help children with disabilities build confidence. She has also served as the honorary team captain for the RBC Race for the Kids at Comer Children’s, which raises money for groundbreaking pediatric research at the hospital. 

"I want others to know that the diet is not impossible to do," Hannah said. “Just simply changing your diet can change the way you feel."

Before starting the diet, Hannah and Tonya consulted with Stephanie Schimpf, a ketogenic dietitian. Schimpf along with Dr. Phitsanuwong helped support the family through the diet, which is customized to each person’s calorie requirements and nutritional status.

The ketogenic diet consists of a high percentage of calories from fat, with an adequate amount of protein and low percentage of carbohydrate intake. This high-fat, low-carbohydrate combination causes the production of ketone bodies creating a ketosis state. It is believed that the process of ketosis has an anti-seizure effect, which has helped Hannah to calm her seizures.

After Hannah started the diet, Schimpf checked up on Hannah and provided suggestions for meals while she traveled on vacation or new ideas for foods to try. “There were times we would just call her and Stephanie would pick up,” Tonya said.

For Tonya, she finds it hard to believe how impactful the diet has been and that Hannah’s new favorite food is zucchini. For Hannah, she says she is happy for the calm it’s provided as she attends nursing school to help make a difference for other young women like herself.

Hannah’s story is only one example of the impact Comer Children’s has on families’ lives.

Join Hannah by supporting the global, virtual 2021 RBC Race for the Kids to raise money for groundbreaking research at Comer Children’s. Since the Race’s inception, our supporters have raised more than $3 million for pediatric research for projects from asthma to cancer.   

Last year, RBC Race for the Kids supported the following areas at Comer Children’s:

  • Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic, debilitating genetic disorder diagnosed at birth. Pain is the hallmark of the disease and the most common reason SCD patients come into the emergency room. Comer Children’s researchers are creating a national registry of SCD patient data to help identify patients most at risk for medical complications.
  • Black American children are at a higher risk for suboptimal neurodevelopment than White American children. Our researchers are investigating the role the microbiome plays in prenatal stress and infant development in Black mothers on the South Side of Chicago. The project is exploring whether a nutritional supplement can improve a mother’s stress level during pregnancy in order to improve infant outcomes.
  • Birth defects are the number one cause of death among newborns. Internationally recognized researcher, Ivan Moskowitz, MD, PhD, is investigating a pathway that communicates between cells—the Hedgehog signaling pathway—to hopefully better understand birth defects in children.

Join us to continue to tackle childhood illnesses and help save kids’ lives! Make a donation to support Comer Children’s today.  

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Die Arche

11-year-old Rania‘s journey to beat financial barriers

How RBC and Die Arche can help to make dreams come true for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds

11-year-old Rania has been coming to the facilities at Die Arche, Frankfurt since she was in elementary school. Her enthusiasm, empathy, reliability and team spirit make her well known to all those around her, whether it’s Die Arche staff or other young people using our services.

Die Arche is a place that supports socially disadvantaged children and young people in the inner cities of Germany. They help youth find and secure opportunities for development to lead a fulfilling future – and for Rania, that opportunity was playing competitive soccer.

Rania’s passion for sport was recognised early on and has only grown over the years since we’ve known her. Whether it was table tennis, inline skating or basketball, you could always find Rania taking part, but where she really shined was on the soccer pitch.

For some time, Rania thought about playing soccer at a higher level, and told her mother about her dreams. However, the local athletics club required an email form to register and a fee to play – though it sounds simple, it wasn’t for Rania and her mother. They didn’t have a computer at home, money to spare from their monthly budget or a car to take them to and from the training grounds where Rania would be expected to be multiple times a week.

Shame began to creep into Rania’s mother’s thoughts:  

“What else besides talent is needed to play soccer at a higher level?” 

“How can we afford jerseys and equipment for training three times a week and games on the weekend?” 

“Will Rania always need to be picked up by another family and will I never be able to return the favour?” 

 

When Rania and her mother came to Die Arche looking for help with the application process, they were provided with computers at our facilities to complete the necessary forms that needed signing and gained financial support from Die Arche donors. The funds helped to secure a monthly train pass that gets Rania safely to and from practice and games, and found her suitable sports gear to wear on the pitch.

Every day, the staff at Die Arche meet many talented young people, and it can be challenging for them to ask for help. It is imperative that relationships, both with the children and with their families, are built in a safe space. We are incredibly appreciative of the fact that families share their stories with us and encourage them to make contact with us, so we can support them in fulfilling their dreams.

It is often completely out of young people’s control to fight the barriers that they encounter and Die Arche would like to make more stories like Rania’s possible. We are so grateful to be partnering with Royal Bank of Canada for the upcoming RBC Race for the Kids to raise awareness and vital funds for children in need. We, alongside Rania, look forward to lacing up on the virtual start line!

 



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Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity

Four years old, three heart surgeries, two virtual races and one great story! 

Amelia-Rose, aged four, is looking forward to taking part in her second global, virtual RBC Race for the Kids this year along with mum Steph and dad James. We asked Steph and James to share their story.

At Steph’s 20-week scan, Amelia-Rose, who is now aged four, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition which caused a vascular ring to form around her trachea and oesophagus. Steph was able to continue with her pregnancy and everything else was normal, but three months after she was born, Amelia-Rose was also diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (ASD) – a hole in the heart. 

In December 2017, when Amelia-Rose was just a few months old, she had her first heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to repair the vascular ring. They were able to go home after a couple of days, but soon after, Amelia-Rose started deteriorating. 

Unfortunately, she developed a rare complication known as chylothorax – a fatty fluid leaked into her chest cavity and caused her left lung to collapse. On New Year’s Day 2018, Amelia-Rose was blue-lighted to GOSH and had to have emergency surgery to insert a chest drain to remove all the fluid from around her lung. Steph and James, Amelia’s parents, said: “It was incredibly frightening, but she got through it.”

After her second surgery, while Amelia-Rose was recovering, Steph and James were able to stay at the GOSH Charity-funded parent accommodation. “The facilities we were given were second to none. When we first arrived with Amelia-Rose in the early hours of the morning, we were given emergency accommodation in Weston House. A day or two after that, we moved 10 minutes from the hospital to a shared house. We had a room that had a bathroom in it, two beds, a shared kitchen and a front room. Had parent accommodation not been available, I don’t know where we would have been able to stay. Those facilities were an absolute godsend – they’ve been a lifesaver to us.”

In December 2018, a year after her first surgery, Amelia-Rose started experiencing recurrent wheezing and had multiple hospital admissions for bronchiolitis. Her ASD which doctors had hoped would close by itself, would need to be surgically closed instead. 

On the 14 December, Amelia-Rose’s hole in her heart was closed up through keyhole surgery. “That was a big weight off our shoulders, as it meant we didn’t have to go through open heart surgery again,” her parents said. 

Once again, Steph and James were supported by charity-funded parent accommodation while Amelia-Rose was treated at GOSH. “We stayed in the same parent accommodation for almost two weeks, in the same room. It was great to be somewhere we knew already.”

Amelia-Rose recovered well from her surgery, but is still under the care of the cardiac and respiratory teams at GOSH. “She has a lung condition where her bronchial tubes are narrowed and floppy, so she may have to have another surgery in the future. But we feel very comfortable because we know that she will be in the safest hands possible, not just in the country, but in the world. GOSH has done wonders for our little girl.”

After their experience at GOSH, Steph and James are always looking for opportunities to give something back and this year will be the third year in a row they have taken part in RBC Race for the Kids. 

Steph says: “In 2019, I picked up a leaflet at the hospital about RBC Race for the Kids and I wanted to give it a go. The weather was terrible that day, but it was still so much fun! No one cared about the weather – everyone had a smile on their face and we were all rallying together for a great cause. We had a top personalised for Amelia with ‘Amelia’s Army’ on the back. She ran a lot of the way without sounding wheezy or out of breath, which was incredible. Her face when she came across the finish line was a picture – when she got her medal, she looked so proud. We took part in all the activities on the day and all had our faces painted – Amelia insisted that Daddy had a tiger on his face!”

Last year, Steph, James and Amelia-Rose also took part in the first ever global, virtual RBC Race for the Kids, choosing to do their own route over 10km. 

“We thoroughly enjoyed our second year, even though it was a bit different. We fed ducks and horses on the way and Amelia had a great time.”

This year, they will be taking part again and are really looking forward to it. “Our own fundraising through RBC Race for the Kids has given us a sense of joy,” James said. “GOSH is the most amazing hospital and we’re so grateful Amelia continues to be under their care. Ultimately, GOSH saved our little girl and made her the cheeky little person she is today.”

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Ronald McDonald House Charities Sydney

Families Recovering Together

"We’ve all struggled with isolation over the last little while, but nothing is more isolating than being away from home while your child undergoes treatment." Ryan Rex, Vice President, Corporate Banking, RBC Capital Markets

One moment can turn a family’s world upside down. Fifteen year-old Louie was in his hometown of Goulburn, 195 kilometers south-west of Sydney, when an accident left him with a subdural haematoma and multiple skull fractures. 

Louie was rushed to Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick where he had part of his skull removed to relieve the pressure on his brain, and for the next two weeks his father Louis barely left his side. As the hours and days melted into each other, he ate an occasional meal in his son’s ward until he received an invitation to breakfast prepared by volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Sydney, RBC Australia’s longstanding RBC Race for the Kids charity partner. 

“I was just overwhelmed,” Louis said. “But when I went to the House for that first real breakfast, it was like all the stress of that morning washed off me. I ate the breakfast and I shared a couple of stories with a few of people here and then I went back up to the ward with Louie again. It was just the break I needed.”

As Louie’s health improved, Louis stayed with him at the House, which allowed them to move back and forth to the hospital for treatment and join other families for dinners also prepared by corporate volunteers.  “It was like a human connection. It provided for people who were having a really difficult time in their life, to be connected in some way and human connection is the thing that sort of brings us all together,” Louis said.

RBC has proudly supported RMHC Sydney for four years and employees regularly sign up for their Home for Dinner Program (COVID-19 permitting). Taking a few hours of your day seems like a simple thing to do but the impact on families and volunteers is immense. 

Ryan Rex, Vice President, Corporate Banking at RBC Capital Markets has participated in the Home for Dinner program and said the opportunity to talk with families and listen to their experiences helped him appreciate how important RMHC Sydney’s services were. 

“On the occasions I’ve volunteered, the house was at capacity which had a big impact on everyone because so many people were going through such a difficult time,” Ryan said. “Sharing dinner with the families, you get to hear their stories and exactly what the house means to them.” 

Ryan shared a table with families who were at the beginning and end of their journeys – one spending their first night in the house and another who had been there for 11 weeks. He also learnt firsthand what a difference the house makes to people who live outside of Sydney when his best friend’s family spent time there while their son was treated for leukemia.

“RMHC Sydney is really a home away from home for families during the most trying of circumstances. The house hosts up to 750 family visits each year and is often at capacity which says a lot about how valuable these services are,” said Ryan.

As the countdown begins for this year’s RBC Race for the Kids, Race champions such as Lisa Chan, Analyst, Governance Coordinator at RBC Capital Markets will help organize fundraising activities to support the renovation of the bathroom and kitchen in an isolation unit at the House. Last year, funds raised from RBC Race for the Kids Australia enabled RMHC Sydney to renovate their family room, a space comprising living and dining areas, as well as a kitchen, bathroom, laundry and sleeping facilities, that is available to families whose children are undergoing inpatient or outpatient treatment.

This year’s race will be Lisa’s second and it will again be virtual because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. “We’re living in uncertain times and it can be easy to focus only on those around us but the need from charity partners like RMHC Sydney hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic,” Lisa said. “RMHC Sydney provides such an important space for children and their families when they are at their most vulnerable and I am really excited to be onboard as a fundraising champion in Sydney to support this cause.”

As for Louie, he still has a long way to go with his recovery, but his future is positive. His family are hoping he will make a full recovery and fulfill his ambition of one day becoming a nurse.

 



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Sunnybrook Foundation

How a navigator helped our daughter

Thanks to RBC Race for the Kids Toronto, thousands of youth and their families have found the mental health care they need. 

This is one family’s journey. 

Anne (whose name has been changed for privacy purposes) credits Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project (FNP) for turning family chaos into harmony.

About five years ago, she noticed her teenage daughter’s mental health eroding.

“She became rebellious, fell in with a rough group of kids and began using drugs,” says Anne. “I didn’t recognize who my daughter was anymore and felt helpless.”

The family contacted their doctor who recommended they see an adolescent psychiatrist. The psychiatrist then directed them to a group of psychologists.

“After months of skills training and individual and family therapy, we were no further ahead,” says Anne. “We were being bounced around in an unwieldy system that was not able to meet our family’s needs.”

Things got worse. In grade 10, Anne’s daughter dropped out of school and her self-esteem plummeted. At times she was violent, putting herself and her family at risk.

“We considered sending her to a group home or residential treatment centre. We were at a complete loss,” says Anne.

Eventually, Anne heard about the FNP. This free service pairs youth (aged 13 to 26) who have mental health and/or addictions challenges, and their families, with clinically trained navigators who connect them with the services they urgently need.

Anne was matched with FNP navigator Shira. “She was so supportive and empathetic to my situation,” says Anne.

Shira connected the family with a relational psychotherapist whom she thought would work well with the family. “As navigators,” says Shira, “we find the nuance in what the family is looking for and make suggestions we think will match personality-wise and therapy-wise.”

The therapist Shira suggested was indeed a good fit “His approach was simple and unlike anything we had experienced previously. It was about human connection, love and understanding,” says Anne.

Four years later, the family is on the path to healing, and Anne’s daughter is planning to go to college in the fall.

Anne is proud of the work her family has done and is exceedingly grateful to Shira and FNP. “I don’t know where we would be today if we hadn’t found them. We got our daughter back and we are forever grateful.”

The support of RBC Race for the Kids Toronto is critical for the FNP – which is fully funded by the Race and generous donors. By participating in the Race, you’ll be helping families like Anne and her daughter. You’ll be making a difference for young people in need. 

To learn more about the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook, please visit their website

 

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University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus

Disasters Threaten Caribbean Students’ University Dream

First it was the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Then, the La Soufriere Volcano on the island of Saint Vincent erupted in April 2021, spewing volcanic ash across the north of that island, also blanketing neighbouring Barbados and causing another brutal economic blow.  Next came Hurricane Elsa in July 2021. It was the first hurricane to impact Barbados since 1955.  More than 2,000 houses were damaged or completely destroyed.  

“These back-to-back disasters are having a severely negative impact on our students from Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean now studying at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, as well as those who dream of getting a university education,” reports Sonia Johnson, Business Development Officer at the Campus. She has been the charity lead for organizing the RBC Race for the Kids in Barbados since its inception in 2017.   “Many of our students from around the region come from single parent homes and are the first in their family to attend university.  Many come from very modest socio-economic circumstances so these recent disasters cause tremendous displacement in their lives that can result in serious emotional distress leading to under-performance in their studies or their dropping out altogether,” she explains.  

Cave Hill is one of five campuses of The UWI, one of the Caribbean’s most longstanding English-speaking universities. It has been ranked in the top 40 higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean by the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings.   Among its alumni are 14 current or former Prime Ministers of Caribbean island states and many other leaders in government, business and industry, both in the region and internationally.  “We are very conscious that among the ranks of our current student cohorts are future Caribbean leaders. We see the talent and the potential.  Higher education has always been pivotal to social and economic advancement for Caribbean families.  That is why we pull together as a community to take advantage of the opportunity that the RBC Race for the Kids presents to raise funds for scholarships and grants so no student is left behind because of financial difficulties.  This is critical now more than ever,” Johnson adds.  

Every year, the RBC Race for the Kids planning team is made up of staff, student and alumni volunteers who work diligently as “Race champions” to rally support for what is one of the most highly anticipated family outdoor events on the Campus’ calendar.  The Race brings the Campus community closer together and everyone enjoys the soca aerobics fitness sessions and the healthy rivalry stimulated by many creative and humourous videos produced in the lead up to the event.  The Campus Principal, Deans, members of faculty, current and staff, Student Guild’s leadership and members, and the Alumni Association all participate in the national Race promotion.  Johnson notes that making the switch to a virtual Race has its challenges, but also presents a wonderful opportunity to garner support for the cause from around the globe.  

Lisa Codrington, Planning Assistant in the Office of Institutional Planning and Infrastructural Services, has been a Race champion since its 2017 inception.

 “Serving as a Race champion has allowed me to engage more with the Campus community, make lasting friendships and, overall, challenged me to improve my fitness while motivating others,” she says. “This initiative not only supports The UWI’s charitable goal of providing scholarships and other grants for students in dire financial need, it also promotes the importance of physical and mental wellness and fosters good community spirit. Our assistance is needed now much more than ever. As a Race champion, I am committed to raising awareness, rallying support and encouraging participation.”

Over the past five years, the RBC Race for the Kids raised US$147,000 to fund 59 scholarships for brilliant, well deserving students in Barbados.  Of this amount, US$53,500 went to the Campus’ mental health First Year Experience (FYE) programme and US$11,465 to the Student Hardship Fund.  The beneficiaries of the effort are extremely appreciative. 

Shania Rodgers says that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Barbados in 2020, resulting in a national lockdown and the end of most face-to-face classes at the university, “changed everything” for her as it did for most students. “The new online teaching environment proved difficult for me and I also was in need of a new computer to efficiently carry out my studies. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, I could not continue my part-time job on Campus and other financial expenses proved a greater priority for my household. The RBC scholarship greatly aided me through these difficult times as it afforded me the opportunity to purchase a new laptop for my studies and I was able to undergo a dental surgery to resolve a medical issue I was facing at that time. Now I am happy to say that I have successfully completed my degree and shall be graduating in October 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance with First Class Honours.  I am forever grateful to have been a recipient of an RBC Race for the Kids scholarship.”

Kamilah Nakuda won an RBC Race for the Kids scholarship in 2018 and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Management with Upper Second Class Honours.  As a Muslim, Kamilah is in a minority in Barbadian society as she was at the University.  "My confidence and my ability to believe in myself improved drastically while at UWI,” says Kamilah.  “Because of the scholarship, I was able to commit wholly to achieving my highest potential in my studies and also prove to myself that what I want is possible and purposeful.  Some before me were not fortunate enough to pursue their dreams of a quality higher education.  It is my hope to inspire young girls in my community to work hard, raise their voices and create positive change in the world." She is now working in Human Resources at one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates.

Amoury Beckles benefited from the RBC Race for the Kids both as a mentee and mentor in the FYE Programme, which he describes as “the cornerstone of his development”.  He also won a scholarship in 2020.  “The RBC Race for the Kids scholarship reduced the excessive burden on my mother so she could focus her limited funds during this period of uncertainty towards other expenses,” says Amoury. “Winning the scholarship was a tremendous achievement.  It was not only about the money involved but, the realization that someone else has recognized my hard work and is willing to support my growth towards my career path.” Amoury will graduate this October with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance.  

In urging support for this year’s event, Campus Principal Professor Clive Landis commended the RBC Race for the Kids as “an excellent way to promote good mental health and have fun safely with friends and family, while giving to an important cause as part of a global caring community.”

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Youth INC

A Partnership Transforming the Lives of NYC Youth

See the most recent RBC Race for the Kids New York in 2019

Youth INC’s mission is to transform the lives of NYC youth by empowering the nonprofit organizations that serve them. We share a vision with RBC that thriving organizations equal thriving youth. Regardless of their zip code, we believe young people should have equitable access to opportunity to actualize their dreams and realize their potential.

Since the beginning of Youth INC’s partnership with RBC in 2015, RBC and its employees have raised nearly $16M for Youth INC and our Nonprofit Partners! Between RBC Race for the Kids, RBC Charity Day for Kids, RBC Paddle Battle, intern volunteer days, employee fundraising, gift matching, and board placement fundraising, RBC and its employees are always up to a fundraising challenge!

Youth INC launched the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our Nonprofit Partner organizations. We issued $1M in unrestricted cash grants to every organization in our Network at the end of 2020, with more to come!

“There is a saying ‘One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.’ Roads to Success is forever grateful for Youth INC and each member of the team for standing up by us during the storm. The Youth INC Response and Recovery Grant allows us the opportunity to show our youth that they are not alone. Thank you for allowing our light to shine through the darkness.” – Lisa Recio, Roads to Success

On behalf of our Nonprofit Partners and the 200,000 NYC young people they serve, thank you for your continued partnership!

Youth INC Program Spotlight: Get on Board

Youth INC’s Get on Board Program prepares and matches corporate professionals with nonprofit organizations serving some of the most vulnerable youth in New York City.

Why the Get on Board Program?

  • Youth INC performs extensive due diligence and is in constant communication with nonprofit leadership.
  • Partner nonprofits are small to mid-sized, which means board members’ expertise and guidance will immediately impact the nonprofit.
  • Board service is an opportunity to further develop your leadership skills while delivering opportunities for the city’s youth from under-resourced communities.
  • Overall, Youth INC has trained more than 3,500 corporate professionals as potential nonprofit board members.

Fueled by RBC, Our Partnership Created Lasting Impact!

  • Between 2014 – 2020, 31 RBC employees serve on the boards of 25 nonprofits in the Youth INC Nonprofit Network. Through our Get on Board Program, Youth INC has placed 22 of those 31 RBC employees.
  • RBC board placements collectively raised over $1.6 million for their nonprofits! RBC employees placed through the Get on Board Program account for over $1.2 million of the funds raised.

An RBC Employee’s Positive Experience:

  • “I wanted to let you know that I’ve been placed with the Minds Matter of NYC Board (!) and to thank you for your guidance through this process. Youth INC was instrumental in getting me to this position – without it, I wouldn’t have known where to start or where to look so I really appreciate the nonprofit matching and guidance that Youth INC provides.” – Diana Lee, RBC Capital Markets and Board Member of Minds Matters NYC

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