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MONTREAL, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Regroupement des fondations collégiales de Montréal is celebrating CEGEPs' 40th anniversary by teaming up with 40 companies to hand out 40 scholarships valued at $1,000 each. These scholarships, which are intended to support students' efforts to achieve excellence, will be presented at the 40 Years, 40 Scholarships gala on April 29, 2009 in Montréal. Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice President Québec Region, TD Canada Trust, will preside over this event. Students at the 12 Montreal-area CEGEPs are invited to apply for the scholarships and have until Friday, March 13, 2009, to submit their application form available at The 40 winners will be selected by a jury of representatives from CEGEPs and TD Canada Trust, the event's major partner. "CEGEPs play a very important role in educating the next generation of Quebeckers," said Ms. Marchildon. "TD Canada Trust is especially pleased to be associated with an event that will give companies an opportunity to acknowledge the quality and relevance of college programs." "For the past 40 years, CEGEPs have made it easier for thousands of young people and adults in Quebec to gain access to post-secondary education," said Paul-Emile Bourque, general director of Cégep de Saint-Laurent and member of the board of the Regroupement des fondations collégiales de Montréal. "CEGEPs have proven to be a powerful economic development tool by educating new generations as well as enabling adults already in the job market to update their knowledge and skills. CEGEPs thereby contribute to creating a high-quality labour force for companies." THE BEGINNINGS OF CEGEPS IN QUEBEC The creation of the first collèges d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEPs) in Quebec dates back to 1967. In the wake of the Parent Commission, 12 CEGEPs opened their doors in September 1967. While the rate of access to college in Quebec was only 16% in the early 1960s, it is now 60%. In the past 40 years, about 1.5 million Quebeckers have obtained a college diploma, including 300,000 in the Montreal region. On average, more than 150,000 students attend Quebec's CEGEPs every year, including more than 35,000 young people who attend CEGEPs on the Island of Montreal to develop skills in the field of their choice. ABOUT THE REGROUPEMENT DES FONDATIONS COLLEGIALES DE MONTREAL The Regroupement des fondations collégiales de Montréal is an association of the foundations of the 12 Greater Montreal CEGEPs: Collège Ahuntsic, Cégep André-Laurendeau, Collège Bois-de-Boulogne, Dawson College, Collège Gérald-Godin, John Abbott College, Collège de Maisonneuve, Cégep Marie-Victorin, Collège Rosemont, Cégep Saint-Laurent, Vanier College and Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. These foundations support and encourage students in their quest for excellence by awarding scholarships and providing financial support for various extracurricular projects. As non-profit organizations, they raise money by organizing benefit activities and fundraising campaigns. TD COMMUNITY GIVING: MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for TD's community giving. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD donated $35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada. For further information: Amély Tremblay, Morin Public Relations, (514) 289-8688, ext. 226,; Gregory Harrison, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-8597,

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